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Posts Tagged ‘coffee shops’

March 8th, 2008
First Day in Colorado!

Driving out of New Mexico into the breaking dawn; the inky midnight sky evolved into deep hazy blue. A slight glow cresting in the distance beckoned us on, “sunshine is coming, this will be a good day”. The horizon brightened in the East and Melanie drifted in and out of dreamy sleep as Sara drove on.

Switch.

big sky country

Big skies and bold mountains held Melanie’s attention.woah!

Sara slept. And slept. And slept. sleeeeeeeping
…and then…
We finally arrived in Denver. We went straight to see Kate and Rachel. Laughter and loving ensued. We were only able to hug Rachel before she flew away back to Northampton. Since the supposed 9 hour drive only took us 6, we had a few hours to relax. What do people on a coffee tour do? Go to coffee shops of course. Kate’s friend directed us over to St. Marks Coffeehouse. Once again, our coffee was paired with excellent conversation while sitting outside in the sunshine. 300 days of sun in Colorado seemed to be coming true for us.

 

Kate took over driving up to Fort Collins since our clutch muscles were cramped. The sunshine continued as we unloaded at our friend Chris’ house.

The evening took us over to a business that enlightened our environmental minds. The New Belgium Brewing Company, besides making some incredibly tasty beer, focuses on the same things that CoffeeInAction does: environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and community; the three seeds. Their website, which is also pretty cool, lists what they are doing to be more conscious on a day to day basis. Check out their sustainability practices:

  1. Increased efficiencies in the brewing process
  2. Utilized green design throughout our building
  3. Implemented a process for treating our wastewater
  4. On-site energy production
  5. Wind-powered electricity since 1999
  6. Employ a High Involvement Culture
  7. Sustainable Eventing
  8. Actionable Advocacy
  9. Constant benchmarking
  10. Partnering to support innovative technology

We learned a lot at the brewery in Fort Collins and while exploring the website. According to our host Chris jobs at New Belgium are hard to come by because they provide ownership into the company after a year and support riding your bike to work by giving each employee/owner a new bike!

p3080188.jpg Chris and Kate

p3080201.jpg three united!

– Sara Rose and Melanie

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Arriving in Asheville on Wednesday night we are greeted warmly by the Bangert family cat.

The welcome wagon.

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008.

We wake up on the later side, around 9, pack the car and head down town to visit our host Dan at his coffee shop Gourmet Perks. We have some of the best bagel sandwiches in our lives. The staff tell us the store has a reputation for attracting death metal and hard core punk bands from around the country. Dan explains that most of the show-goers are straight-edge. Staff members volunteer during shows, as well as have a lot of say in other aspects of the business, such as specials of the day and band recruitment.

Settled in at Gourmet Perks

Dancing Denali

Why no pants?

Signage

Dan sends us to his local roaster, Beanworks.

Green Bean storage

As we drive into downtown Asheville we notice YMSB is playing at the Asheville Civic Center. Bluegrass in North Carolina? Yes, Please! We promptly purchase tickets.

As we meander the streets of Asheville we stumble across…

Double Decker Cafe a red British double decker bus turned cafe!

Double Deckerimg_0878.jpgPretty Squares

As we have already consumed significant amounts of our favorite beverage we decide not to order anything and continue our wayward wanderings…

Chocolate is essential

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Large!

Mugs at Malaprops

 

 

 

 

Patterns

Izzy’s

 

 

Our tummies start to rumble and we spot what looks like a restaurant sign in the distance. There is a steady stream of happy looking people in and out of the door, so we quicken our pace and prepare to scan the menu.

Much to our surprise the establishment is actually a specialty beer seller, and as fate would have it, they are hosting a free beer sampling.

Beer Tasting

A chit-chat with one of the brewer’s representatives results in free tickets to a tour of the Sweetwater facilities in Atlanta. We realize the concert time is fast approaching and scurry down to a vegetarian restaurant for a plate of pad thai and a side of sweet potato fries.

Thirty minutes later the band appears and we start to dance. Man, do we dance. For over two hours we jump, stomp, laugh, spin, hug, sing, groove, swing, clap, sweat, and move with the crowd at the foot of the stage.

The show ends and we are way to energized to think of bed. Upon our friend Frances’ recommendation we head to a local pub, Jack of the Hill to hear another string band.

Sitting at the end of a long table is Stony. Stony is a master at Connect 4. He is starting a project to create a national ranking of Connect 4 players. Melanie accepts his challenge. Stony: 4, Melanie 1.

We head home happy and exhausted.

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