What Keeps Us Awake

Dogwood and Larry's coffeeSleepy activism doesn’t work. We really have to be awake around here, and I don’t mind making the coffee, as everyone knows. Last week I almost embarrassed myself by asking for the autograph of a guy who owns a coffee company. Almost. That guy is Larry Larson, owner of Larry’s Coffee, based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Why would I want his autograph? Pour yourself a cup of joe and I’ll tell you.

I moved to West Asheville from the mountain town of Franklin, North Carolina in 2005.  West End Bakery on Haywood Rd was open back then and they carried this tasty fix called Larry’s Cowboy Blend. I’ve been drinking it religiously ever since. It’s no frills, you see. Medium roast, but bold as heck. Not for dainty types at all. Perfect for game-changers and those who like to get it done.

Take a moment to read a bag of Larry’s Coffee. It’s brilliant. Sure, lots of coffee companies are more local to Asheville, and are also Fair Trade, Shade Grown and Organic just like Larry’s is. But Larry’s goes further. A lot further. They’re a certified B-Corp–the first B-Corp coffee company in North Carolina. Their hip facilities in Raleigh have been green-rigged with solar, rainwater catchment (what their bathrooms run on), and vermiculture (worm composting). They’ve known most of their farming families for years, and as founding member of Cooperative Coffees, they are passionate about true Fair Trade (they were the first Fair Trade coffee company in NC too). Is it any wonder then why we would love them?

Back to the autograph. So I got to meet Larry last week at their new coffee bar 42 & Lawrence in downtown Raleigh. Maybe I was a little zinged off the cappuccino AND the cold draft latte (yes, you read that right—draft latte), but shaking Larry’s hand was a little like shaking the hand of a hero who, unbeknownst to him, helped fuel my work for a decade. It’s nice to know the people who keep you awake are awake too.

So pour yourself another cup and stay tuned for more Dogwood Alliance/Larry’s Coffee storytelling.

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