It's been so exciting to be involved in this venture! Here's a recap of our Birds & Beans coffee year:
- January 2009 - Lois and I began our search for a shade-grown coffee to sell in store. We decided it was time to walk the talk by drinking and selling a coffee that was not destroying the habitat of the migratory birds we so enjoy.
- Early February 2009 - Through SMBC, we are introduced to Bill Wilson of Birds & Beans coffee. Birds & Beans sells ONLY certified Bird-Friendly coffee, meaning, as Laura Erickson recently pointed out in a Facebook comment, that to her knowledge "Birds & Beans is the only coffee distributor that sells ONLY Bird Friendly coffee. And that means that they are the one coffee seller that doesn't make a profit off destroying tropical habitat."
After tasting a sample of the Scarlet Tanager blend, we brought in our first order, which at that time, was only available in 2 pound bags.
- March 2009 - WBU-Saratoga Springs became the first retailer in New York state to carry Birds & Beans coffee. We were the first Wild Birds Unlimited store in the country to carry it. There are now a dozen WBU stores across the country selling it. Many customers take us up on our offer of a free 4-cup sample to try out. We started offering coffee to sample every weekend.
- March 17, 2009 - "Why Shade-Grown Coffee Matters to Birds" post.
You can almost FEEL the excitement amongst the birdwatching crowd. Spring is coming and along with it the birds that have been out of our area for what seems like an eternity. On listservs and blogs, and at Wild Birds Unlimited stores across the country, the stories of the return of our migratory birds are streaming in. In my area, Red-winged Blackbirds start the excitement, their arrival marking the true arrival of spring.
The excitement is palpable. The anticipation grows. "When do the hummingbirds arrive?" "How about Rose-breasted Grosbeaks?" "When can I put out oriole feeders?"
What if the answer to these questions is,"They're not coming back"?
Read the rest of the post.
- March 27, 2009 - We welcomed nationally recognized naturalist, birder and author Kenn Kaufman to speak in Wilton on the subject of Bird-Friendly Coffee. 40 people got to hear him speak and answer questions. Kenn was awesome!- March 30, 2009 - Kenn honors us with his blog post, "Meeting Kindred Spirits over Coffee"
- June 6, 2009 - we introduced Adirondack birders to Birds & Beans at the Great Adirondack Birding Celebration at Paul Smiths. Bridget Stutchbury, a Birds & Beans Voice of the Birds, was keynote speaker. Her message included a very strong message in support of SMBC certified Bird-Friendly coffee.
- June 10, 2009 - our "How to Know You're Getting REAL Shade-Grown Coffee" post.
Have you ever bought a loaf of bread labeled "whole wheat" and found in looking further that whole wheat was way down the ingredient list? So how do we know what we're getting when we buy a bag of "shade grown" coffee?
With no regulations for what can be labeled "shade grown",
coffee companies and well-intentioned conservation organizations are at
liberty to use the label on coffee that may have been grown in
conditions that don't quite achieve the shade-grown goal of protecting
the habitat of neotropical birds and other wildlife.
Read the rest of the post.
- September 2009 - Our decision to carry Birds & Beans coffee was included in the article about our store in the trade magazine Birding Business. The article effectively introduced hundreds of other birdfeeding hobby shops to Birds & Beans coffee.
- November 2009 - we introduced Birds & Beans in decaf.
- March 2010 - One year later, we've sold nearly 200 bags of Birds & Beans Bird-Friendly Coffee. That's about a bag every other day. We serve Birds & Beans coffee every weekend to our customers. And we talk to everyone who tries it about what a difference a Bird-Friendly coffee can make in the lives of our migratory birds.
Here's what Birds & Beans co-founder Bill Wilson had to say about us on our 1st anniversary with Birds & Beans:
On February 2nd 2009, in response to a request via the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, I wrote: “Dear Nancy, We would love to have you take our ‘Birds & Beans’® the good coffee”.
Boy, have they ever done a terrific job for us – and the birds – over the year since then! We have gotten to know Nancy and Lois well, had a wonderful event with Kenn Kaufman, been introduced into the Wild Birds Unlimited world – and looking forward to many more years together. Always full of great ideas, Nancy and Lois are Birds & Beans and Bird Friendly® coffee's most supportive wholesale customer. They are fun to work with – and the deep commitment Wild Birds Unlimited - Saratoga Springs has to bird conservation is inspirational. Happy anniversary and thank you for a great year.
Everyday, we look forward to being able to tell the Bird-Friendly story to people, whether at the store, on our blog, on Facebook or on Twitter. We believe that we can make a difference to our birds by sharing what we know.
Please consider joining us by drinking only a certified Bird-Friendly coffee. We'd strongly recommend Birds & Beans brand. It's a wonderful-tasting coffee.Sometimes the familiar Margaret Mead quote is overused, but I really think it applies in this case:
small group of thoughtful,
can change the world.
Indeed, it's the only
thing that ever has.
-- Margaret Mead (1901-1978)
US Anthropologist, Author