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The coffee compost connection

· coffee,compost,community

My first attempt at business was a coffeehouse called "Leotah's Place. It has since turned into a rad coffeehouse under a new owner and name called Franny Lou's porch in a tiny neighborhood in Philadelphia where the houses are stuck together like glue. I learned a lot from that experience, mostly that it's bad to store money in a refrigerator and just because a landlord laughs when he talks about building his "real estate empire" it doesn't mean he's your friend. Also, if sandwiches are constantly getting composted, you might not want to keep buying more. Also, it's good to understand a balance sheet, margin, and those things. Being around coffee was fun, and I loved how it brought people together, particularly moms who would bring their wrapped up babies and chat together, it was really beautiful. I guess coffee has been on my brain ever since, though the black substance I choose to pour my life into has been compost, instead! Originally, Let Us Compost was supposed to be called "Rooster Compost" with the tagline: wake up and don't smell the compost. I planned on everything being packaged to look like coffee, but it would be compost. I think when you're up all night with your baby you get lots of ideas, and luckily the sanity of the morning eventually comes. I was really involved with a church in Philadelphia called Circle of Hope. The church is really close to the "El," an elevated subway that was really loud, always smelled like fried things, and beneath it was the home of one of the worst Opiod epidemics in the country. At a "cell" meeting one of the weeks, my friend Adrienne had the idea to get a couple containers of coffee and plates of cookies and give them out to people at night. This ended up being one of the best, and saddest experiences, to see people so desperate seeming, yet so cheered up by the simplest gesture. The sugar went the fastest, you can't imagine how much sugar was poured into those cups of coffee. My friend that came up with the coffeehouse idea used to bring her travel espresso machine to open mic nights making the best lattes in the world. Everyone was invited, even the people under the El. Coffee really seemed to provide happiness, bring people together, and anyone could have a cup, whether you were an Opiod addict, or an artist, a parent, or a professor, or anyone in between. 7 years later, after moving to Athens, Jittery Joes gave us the opportunity to make a special blend of coffee that we could use to fundraise our weird compost experiments at West Broad Farm. My friend John would tell me these wild ideas and my response in my head every time was...what is this guy talking about? Living houses...mushroom plastic buckets...but eventually I realized he was completely serious and very talented. I wanted to be able to support his wild ideas because they were important, but you know, outside of what my business Let Us Compost was doing, just hauling and paying a tipping fee to get our compost processed. So we opened Vulture Cycle, a non-profit organization so that we could raise project-specific funds when the inspiration arose to create new composting technologies!

Thanks to Charlie at Jittery Joe's who loves bikes, we can now fundraise by selling this amazing coffee blend that tastes like earth and strawberries. Hope you purchase some today, by using the donate link below, or another day, or visit the farm at 1573 West Broad St. It's really fun to ask John questions if he's there:) Make sure to give us your address so we can send the coffee to you!

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