A Kansas City coffee roaster with a focus on sustainability and creating zero landfill waste is hoping its first shop will be a model for cafes around the nation.
A product of the Kansas City-based Paris Brothers food and coffee distribution company, Mother Earth Coffee has been available in local grocery stores and via wholesale for a decade. But in January, the firm launched its first retail location in Hyde Park, which hopes to set the bar for coffee shops in the U.S. and beyond.
The 2,000 square-foot cafe — housed within the International apartment building — is one of the first in the area to explicitly focus on sustainability. Mother Earth Coffee establishes relationships with small family farmers and uses certified organic processes in the storage, handling and roasting of its beans.
The firm also uses a direct trade model to reduce its environmental impact. With direct trade, the firm purchases coffee crops directly from the farms at or above sustainable pricing. Mother Earth Coffee then provides consumers with traceable information from where the products originated.
“I’ve worked with really big corporate coffee shops, and the mission of Mother Earth is different than anything I’ve ever heard,” said Brandon Miller, Mother Earth Coffee’s store manager. “It’s a small coffee shop trying to make a big impact on Kansas City and the environment, so it’s inspiring to set a good example for everyone.”
Inspired by the brand’s mission, the new coffee shop’s interior is decorated with all natural products — such as local repurposed woods and metals. Mother Earth Coffee offers a multitude of seating options for more than 60 people at a time, a community room, Wi-Fi and a fireplace.
Mother Earth Coffee has an established partnership with Missouri Organic, with coffee grounds delivered from farmers in Missouri and Kansas. Napkins, cups and menus are made of recycled paper. And to minimize waste, Mother Earth Coffee offers customers a free coffee with every mug purchase, and a 35-cent discount if they bring their own mug.
In the future, the shop plans to host a grand opening for the public to learn more about its operations. With the goal of becoming 100-percent zero waste, Mother Earth Coffee is looking for community partners to host events that will educate on the power of recycling.