Grinding Locally, Thinking Globally
What’s in a cup of coffee? If you talk to Trevis Boyd of Black Pearl Coffee, you’ll quickly realize that the answer can be so much more than just a good bean. A good cup of coffee also involves passion, artistry and community.
When he was contemplating a career change in themid-’90s, Boyd was living in Olympia, Washington, right in the heart of coffee-loving country. For a few years he’d been buying coffee from a local roaster, and since he knew he was moving far away enough not to be in competition, he approached the roaster to ask if he could train under him. The answer was yes, and today anyone who goes into Black Pearl can smell and taste the results.
Opening in 2000 in a spot three blocks from his current location at 460 Dufferin Avenue, Boyd was drawn to the concentration of food-related businesses in the area. “The best food in the city is right here,” he says, adding that the light-industrial nature of the neighbourhood is a must for the smoke that a coffee roaster produces. Seven years ago he moved into his current location, and he couldn’t be happier.
As an importer of coffee beans, community is an important part of Boyd’s life and work. From the neighbourhood he serves to the beans that he sells, Boyd cares about local communities, and groups of growers doing good work in their own areas.
The Golden Triangle Roast, for example, comes from Thailand, and the growers are producing a crop that takes business away from the opium trade, making life better for local people.
There’s also Café Femenino, a unique producer group in which all the workers are women, and every buyer of their beans has to commit to giving money—anonymously—to women’s groups, either locally or back to Café Femenino itself.
When asked why he does business with ACU, his response has two parts. His wife has a history with Assiniboine, so it was natural to re-join when they moved to Winnipeg; and over time membership has also become about values. Local businesses are important to Boyd, and knowing that his financial institution is also local, and has a heart for the community, is an added value.
He thinks the McGregor Branch is much needed, and he’s looking forward to establishing a relationship with the staff there.
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