In the world of award-winning specialty coffees, “green” usually refers to raw coffee beans prior to roasting. For Tequesta roaster, wholesaler and retailer Oceana Coffee, however, “green,” the environmental concept, is as much a cornerstone of the business as the color of the freshly harvested coffees owners Amy and Scott Angelo procure from coffee-rich regions throughout the world.
Since the Oceana Coffee Café opened on Highway 1 in Tequesta, Florida, Amy and Scott haven’t let their entrepreneurial spirit compromise their environmental ethics. “We’ve used compostable straws since Day 1,” Amy says. “Our plastic cutlery is plant-based and compostable as are our carry-out containers. Our K-Cups are also 100% recyclable.”
In addition, Oceana Coffee has partnered with Florida Girl Organics, LLC, in order to provide an alternative to single-use disposable plastic straws. The re-use glass or stainless steel straws with carrying pouch and cleaning brush are on sale now at both the Oceana Coffee Café and the Oceana Coffee Roasting Facility.
Is it a perfect solution? “No,” says Amy. “There is controversy about the rate of breakdown of compostable materials in a landfill vs. a compost facility. But the more businesses and consumers use and demand compostable items, the closer to a bona fide facility here in South Florida we’ll get. We’ve been lobbying for one for years, and encouraging our customers and the many businesses we supply to help with our mission as well.”
Conducting business in good conscience is not a new concept for Amy and Scott. The husband-wife team not only run Oceana Coffee with a sustainability mindset, but they also keep a close eye on the community in which they live and work. They care about the healthful and moral aspects of where their coffees come from. They support likeminded businesses in the Jupiter-Tequesta area.
Oceana Coffee’s new charity program, for example, A Cup of Kindness, donates $500 per quarter to the local non-profit organization that receives the most votes cast by its customers. Customers can vote online here or in person at the Oceana Coffee Café by dropping a “big-hearted” coffee bean into the mug representing the charity of their choice.
Along those same lines of community outreach, the Café also hosts many events including exhibitions by local artists and authors. A favorite event of the area’s coffee enthusiasts is Oceana Coffee’s popular Craft Collective, a monthly showcase of local business popup shops with environmental, healthful and socially conscious missions.
“It’s a fun way to spend a Saturday morning,” Amy says. “This area is filled with edgy and alternative small businesses with proprietors who care about health, future generations and the general footprint they leave day to day preparing food for their customers and providing various products and services. No one becomes a yoga instructor because it’s the fastest way to fame and riches, for example. But it’s a wholesome way to make a living, and yoga provided by Wholistic Lifestyle is an example of one of our regular Craft Collective vendors.”
This thread of social and environmental consciousness runs through everything that Oceana Coffee stands for, including the company’s award-winning specialty coffees themselves. Oceana Coffee beans are procured from small fair trade farms, many of which are certified organic and all of which must be sustainability-minded for their beans to make it to the company’s Tequesta roasting facility.
“We pay these family coffee farmers well and we’re proud of it,” says Scott, who recently returned from a buying trip to Costa Rica. “We work in the fields with them during the day and then dine with their families in their home at night. It’s not all about profit for us. It’s just what you do.”
Well, perhaps it’s what more businesses should do, Scott. It is, however, what Oceana Coffee DOES do on a daily basis.