Isla Vista coffeehouse Java Jones recently transformed into Coffee Collaborative — the newest place to get your morning caffeine boost while promoting sustainability and community.
Coffee Collaborative’s beans are certified organic and their food items are purchased locally. Its policy is “conscious consumerism” and with cups emblazoned with “F*cking Recycle,” the message is loud and clear.
Additionally, owners John Lewis and Tal Benami plan to create online memberships. After customers swipe their card with a purchase, they can log online and donate a percentage of the money spent to their choice of two or three local charities.
“We want to take an action you do every day — buying coffee — and allow you to make good on it,” Benami said.
As an extra incentive, Coffee Collaborative will offer a discount to anyone who brings in their own mug as a “thank you” for not wasting a paper cup. Although, if it’s a Starbucks mug, Lewis and Benami say they’ll cover the logo with a sticker.
Lewis and Benami tried to retain Java Jones’ customer following through social networking on Facebook and Twitter. According to philosophy graduate student David Spewak, the coffee has retained its quality.
“The coffee’s good, and I’m glad there’s an added bonus of giving back. Because even if they’re doing something good, I still wouldn’t come here if the coffee sucked,” he said.
Karla Subero, second-year anthropology major, said that the charity donations encourage her patronage.
“I love that my money is going somewhere good besides the coffee,” Subero said.
According to Lewis, Coffee Collaborative’s message comes from the heart.
“We’re not different for the sake of being different, we’re different because we really give a shit,” he said.
Coffee Collaborative will complete its final renovations at noon today.