It seems that the question of just how good Larry's Beans are doesn't just lie in taste of the dark rich liquid. Considered by many to be the leading exponent in the US of how to smoothly blend sustainability and cool in one brand, Larry's Beans are going way beyond the call of duty to make their coffee the fairest of them all. Larry's Beans are sourced worldwide from small family farmers who are paid an international fair trade price for their shade grown organic coffee beans. They even publish a document trail on their website to 'show you the path each lot took to get to our warehouse (a "lot" is a specific batch of beans). The trail begins with our contract with the producer coop and ends with delivery to our warehouse.' Each bag of coffee has a lot number printed on it so the consumer can trace their beans back to the source. At the US end of the business it appears that Larry's Beans are having a great deal of fun showing everyone how it's possible for a business to be both successful and sustainable. Their recent escapades at the St Paddy's Day parade, in their home town of Raleigh, North Carolina, saw Larry's crew dancing around with costumed musicians, jugglers, dancers and chanters (all wearing clover-leaf buttons that said KISS ME I RECYCLE) all whilst handing out free coffee from their delivery bus, which runs on veggie oil. Check out this You Tube clip of the Veggie Bus. Larry's operates the only Biodiesel 100 distribution point in Raleigh, brewed locally at the biopowerhouse Piedmont Biofuels. Making full use of this resource Larry's now has a diesel generator running on Bio100. They haven't stopped at Biofuel though, they also have a passive solar warehouse with a gray water system underway.
As if doing all this wasn't enough for themselves Larry's Beans wants to get everyone else along for the ride as well. For fun they have started a Fair Trade Farmer Music Project, recording the traditional music made by coffee growers around the world. For education they have the Sustainability School: this section on their website runs through some important enviro-issues such as alternative energy, fair trading, water conservation and recycling. Larry's says, "Once you get hip to the ways that everyday actions can improve the world, you want to know more and it becomes addicting. " Just like the coffee then! :: Larry's Beans