Capomo and Coffee with Business Without Borders @ Villanova University

Last night Thomas Ford, friend and business partner in coffee, and I went to Villanova University to meet with student members of the campus service program, Business Without Borders (BWB).

The group members were welcoming and asked thoughtful questions about Between Friends Roasting. It was a great opportunity for us to share our values and mission as a sustainably focused business doing good things both locally and abroad. Both Thomas and I walked away from our presentation feeling like we had planted the seeds to future collaboration with the group. 

Between Friends has been working with Villanova's Masters in Sustainable Engineering students for the past two semesters with energy efficiency and packaging.  Working with BWB would help us to better understand and improve the social impacts of our business abroad.

It was energizing to meet with an organization focused on helping others through a business centered lens. We hope to support Villanova's Business Without Borders students in some capacity this Spring.

BWB- Thanks for a great opportunity!



Breakfast with Carly: Super Healthy Capomo "Muffin"

I know this doesn't LOOK that delicious. I'm not a food blogger for a reason, okay? Even an Instagram filter couldn't save its appearance. But I promise it tastes good. 

I know this doesn't LOOK that delicious. I'm not a food blogger for a reason, okay? Even an Instagram filter couldn't save its appearance. But I promise it tastes good. 

This is the ridiculously easy and healthy breakfast I've been making for the past few weeks. As a nursing mom, what I look for in breakfast is something super fast and protein-rich, with galactagogues as an added bonus (especially since I dealt with low supply a few weeks ago when my baby was sick and went on nursing strike). This fits the bill with oats, flax and capomo for lactation support and egg for protein. Chia seeds, grassfed butter and coconut oil are also incredibly nourishing and good for you. I just threw this together and am loving it.  

Put into a small glass or ceramic bowl (or mug or ramekin if you have something fancy like that!):

-1/4 cup oats

-1.5 tbsp ground flax seed

-1 tsp capomo

-1 tsp chia seeds

-one egg

-2 tsp grassfed butter (I like Kerrygold brand, soften in microwave first)

-2 tsp coconut oil (microwave a bit to liquefy)

-a dash of cinnamon

-a bit of vanilla extract

Mix with a fork. Put into the microwave for 1 min 20 seconds. Turn upside down onto a plate or eat directly out of the (very hot, so cuidado!) bowl. Put whatever you want on top as it isn't sweet as is. I do sunflower seed butter but you could do normal butter, jam, peanut butter, almond butter, yogurt, etc. One day when I'm feeling crazy I plan to throw chocolate chips in.

Oh, and busy mamas: you really don't need to use measuring spoons or cups. I am very against more dishes so I literally just eyeball everything. If you like one ingredient, use more of it! It will work out. As you can tell, I like butter and coconut oil. A LOT. Let me know what you think! 



5 minutes with a GOOD person doing GOOD

Cecilia Sanchez Garduno, National coordinator of Ramon Nativa (formerly known as Brosimum Conservacion y Cultura).

  • Introduce yourself.

I am an Ecologist. I have worked with Maya Nut (Capomo) since 1997, when I chose this species for my PhD. Since then I have been a passionate advocate of the benefits of Maya Nut for the forests and for the people.

Cecilia discussing Fair Trade pricing with her educators as Capomo (Maya Nut) grows in popularity.

Cecilia discussing Fair Trade pricing with her educators as Capomo (Maya Nut) grows in popularity.

Educators of Capomo (Maya Nut)  and reforestation.

Educators of Capomo (Maya Nut)  and reforestation.

  • What do you enjoy most about working with Between Friends Roasting?

As we gather with rural women to learn and exchange experiences about Maya Nut (Capomo) through cooking, all that sharing, experimenting and knowing more of Maya Nut makes us a family. When foreign people get hands-on with the cooking or other Maya Nut activities in the field, it is a joy to see how rural women express their welcome by teaching them how to cook a tortilla, or a cooking or planting trick, and by asking if they enjoyed their Maya Nut experience, all with good doses of humorous laughter and teasing, especially when teaching them how to use the “metate” or “molcajete” (stone mortars) or other traditional activities. But then, once in a blue moon they meet persons like Carly and Hus who inadvertently pass from guests to having a special role in this Maya Nut family. Because when Carly and Hus lend a hand, women find a connection with someone who believes in their dreams and aspirations with Maya Nut… and acts upon it! When I get to witness this, it gives me faith.

  • What impact is your organization making?

We recover the traditional knowledge of Maya Nut as a nutritious food for communities that have this precious forest resource. We teach and share about Maya Nut potential and then step back and observe whatever rural women want to do with these insights and support them in their empowerment, whether they innovate with recipes of Maya Nut to feed their families, or use it for their domestic animals, or sell Maya Nut, or restore their forests, or share their knowledge by becoming trainers, etc. Each of these processes is a path that we walk together, because it is as different and unique as the cultures in Mexico. Totonac, Nahua, Maya and many other groups are owners of Maya Nut forests and there are many communities in Mexico still to be reached…


Capomo Symposium in Cuernavaca, MX: part 1 of 2

Immediately upon flying into Mexico City, I grabbed a chicken torta with avocado, lettuce and jalepeños while I waited for my bus to take me to Cuernavaca. I welcomed the heat after all that we have been through with the cold and snow in Philly this winter. Cuernavaca is known as the city of "eternal spring" so its warm days are followed by cool evenings, reminding me of the years I spent living in the Bay Area.

I walked the city looking for a Banorte Bank where Carly and I have maintained a back account to help us continue to fund projects in Mexico. Along the way I stopped for a fresh mango with chile and visited a vibrant market to take in the colors and culture. This time we were able to raise funds through the sale of our Capomo and coffee to bring together nine women educators from 9 of the 18 Mexican states where Capomo grows in important forests. The educators, called prometoras, are here to get training from Dr. Cecilia Sanchez Garduño, the director of Brosimum Cultiva and Cultura in collaboration with Erika Vohman of the Maya Nut Institute. The prometoras are experienced in working with Capomo and Capomo-harvesting communities. They showed off their craft by making an amazing lunch in which I got the chance to get in the kitchen and lend a hand. Actually, I think I did more eating than helping.

Cecilia and Erika discussed the importance of pricing Capomo so that the prometoras and the families harvesting and processing the final product have enough money to "buy shoes for their kids." By establishing fair pricing early, Capomo communities won't have to endure the economic battle that coffee farmers have dealt with for centuries.

Sitting in on these meetings and seeing what is really needed at the ground level to give Capomo-growing communities support and to protect these important forests reminds me of what a big and urgent undertaking this must be for everyone involved. However, listening to the level of discusion and excitement among the prometoras is humbling and leaves me hopeful that they will be successful.

I also realize that Between Friends Roasting Co. has found a great group of women to get behind and support in their uphill endeavors to bring economic relief and reforestation to the communities they represent.

Capomo Cookies

Customer and friend, Hannah, who has recently become a Capomo-enthusiast, baked these Capomo cookies! Just take your standard chocolate chip cookie recipe and add 1/3 cup Capomo to the flour and slightly more liquid (she added 1/4 cup more of heavy cream). These ones have white chocolate chips and almond slivers. The Capomo adds a nutty, mocha flavor - along with a powerhouse of nutrients. Mmm. Thanks for sharing, Hannah.