Sunday’s paper had an extensive writeup about Fair Trade Café in downtown Phoenix. The store is 18 months old and serves fair trade coffee grown by a co-op of about 50 families in Chiapas, Mexico called Just Coffee.

There’s a web site called Green LA Girl that has a great post with pictures. Go check it out.

Fair Trade Café
1020 N. First Ave., Phoenix (Map)
Phone: (602) 354-8150

A few tidbits from the Arizona Republic article:

Passion is the very essence of what makes John Mather tick as he sits in the Fair Trade Café in downtown Phoenix, sipping some of the product. His face lights up as he talks about “social justice” – a philosophy he not only lives by, but the air he breathes. Mather left a 25-year career in corporate banking and consulting to, as he put it, find the meaning of his life. He spent the next seven months doing volunteer work before founding Cathedral Health Services in 2001, where he is still active.

In 2004, Mather spearheaded the creation of the café after the previous coffee shop went out of business. As he put it, this little spot “could be something so much more.” From the beginning the café has been about “raising consciousness and making an attempt to give opportunity to people.” The Fair Trade name comes from an official, certifiable way of conducting business where people earn a fair wage on the products being sold. For the café, that’s where shade trees and social entrepreneurship come together.

Up and running for less than 18 months, the café is not quite at break-even, but almost.

“At simply break-even, we have already made an impact in Central America . . . lives are transformed,” Mather points out.

Others, he hopes, will copy the Fair Trade Café model – “coffee with a conscience.”

Arizona Coffee

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