Buywell, growing well

Amid national headlines about rising coffee prices, locally based BuyWell Coffee (buywellcoffee.com) offers some totally different and positive news about a new coffee line it plans to release between late August and mid-September.

The beans for "Café Hope" will come from Peru, where they're farmed entirely by members of a women-only co-op. Part of that co-op's mission is to help women gain more financial independence, in a country sadly regarded for its high rate of violence against women. BuyWell sales and marketing manager Christopher Aaby, who just weeks ago traveled to Peru to meet these women, says the co-op also helps convert non-organic farmers to organic methods and offers leadership training classes so women can branch out to help others.

Café Hope will be found at BuyWell distribution points like Mountain Mama Natural Foods, Whole Foods, Sammy's Organics and King Soopers. Aaby says the company, which turns three years old in October, has already grown into 865 Kroger stores (like King Soopers) nationwide, as well as a number of H-E-B stores, and their coffees will soon be sold at Costco.

"BuyWell has always had the idea that the more we sell, the more farmers we help," says Aaby. "We also saw that there wasn't another national coffee company out there that is 100 percent organic, 100 percent fair-trade and 100 percent sustainably produced." (They buy wind energy credits currently and have plans for solar energy.)

Though BuyWell now ships a 900-pound pallet of coffee a day, on average, Aaby says the outfit has no plans to expand operations out of Colorado Springs. They may soon need an additional building, however.

All of BuyWell's investors and employees are also Front Range-based. Says Aaby, a native: "We want to be a model, to show others — 'Hey, we're really a green city.'"

À la carte

Sushi & Teriyaki House has closed at 230½ Pueblo Ave. downtown, after a few short months in business. (The "Grand Opening" sign still hangs above two "For Rent" signs on the building.)

Couture Cupcakes (springscupcakes.com) just opened its own bakery at 4705 N. Academy Blvd., after having shared space previously. The new location also functions as a retail store, along with the 3347 Cinema Point location and 111 N. Tejon St. stand in the Plaza of the Rockies, which is now only open on Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

• Attend a seed-saving workshop from 7 to 9 p.m., Monday, Aug. 9, in Colorado College's Worner Center (902 N. Cascade Ave., seedstrust.com/joomla); the $10 suggested donation will benefit CC's student garden and Seeds Trust.

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