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Aldea Field Trip: Off the grid with Laughing Tree Bakery

Aldea recently began an initiative to visit our local partners and learn about their practices. It has become our priority to understand how to be green in our shop, and learn what others are doing at the forefront of sustainable living at home and work. So, we took a field trip to Laughing Tree Bakery, one of the first relationships we formed as Aldea Coffee. We look to Laughing Tree Bakery as a role model for sustainable embodiment. Not only does the team at Laughing Tree incorporate renewable practices in how they cook and live their daily lives, but also in how owners, Charlie and Hilde Muller, interact as a family. On this awe-inspiring field trip, we learned about healthy...

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Partner Spotlight: Covenant Church of Muskegon Heights

One block from Covenant Community Church in Muskegon Heights, Pastor Mark Bush is walking across a grass lawn with his hands outstretched to Paula Addison, who peers over a wooden fence from her backyard. It is a reunion of celebration. “I see you have your track!” Mark says, as he gestures toward a paved path that zig zags Paula’s backyard daycare area. Mark is tall, broad-shouldered, with a neatly-trimmed beard of gray. His mustache still has the toothy crimson hairs that reveals he was once a redhead. The one word that describes him: warmth. Paula lights up as she discusses her new bike path, and both her and Mark chuckle when a small child takes a corner too fast and...

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Chocolate meets Coffee through special treats from Patricia's Chocolates

Aldea Coffee isn’t served in Paris yet. But there’s a taste of France at Patricia’s Chocolate in Grand Haven where their coffee beans are found at the center of a few of their sweet creations in a shop that feels a lot like a European “shoppe.” Chocolate dates back more than 2,000 years (some say maybe 4,000) to when people in what is now Central America nibbled on the beans of the cacoa tree. It took hundreds of years before folks in the rest of the world even heard of chocolate or could enjoy it. Oh, those unfortunate people. The people who walk into Patricia Christopher’s shop on Washington Avenue have tasted chocolate before. But they’ve never tasted anything like...

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How Young Mountain Tea helped change the tea industry with Indian farmers

How many people are willing to risk everything on their big idea? Raj Vable did just that back in 2013 when he promised farmers in the Kumaon region of northern India that if they would grow tea, he would buy all of it. Five years later, that decision has proved wise, as Young Mountain Tea now works with more than 600 farmers in India and elsewhere. What was Raj’s big idea? To raise the quality of Indian tea and import it to the United States. He wasn’t sure where the idea would take him, and there have been twists, but the fact that this tea importer is flourishing and the farmers in India are becoming independent and earning a good...

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