Drinking Joe Coffee in Union Square, Pondering the Bona Fides of Walking the Talk
I love NYC during the holiday season. Crisp air, leaves with residual hints of red and yellow, holiday bazaars, ambient street music, and plenty of plein-air noshing and coffee-drinking.
my friend and I took our kids to the playground near Union Square and at one
point, I ducked out for coffee. I was determined to try a new place (at least
new for me).
at 16th St. off of Union Square pulled me in with its powder-blue
branding and no-nonsense name. Joe Coffee was started in 2003 by Jonathan
Rubinstein, with the goal of producing high-quality, amazing-tasting coffee
served with “warm hospitality.” There are now 22 locations throughout the city.
The coffee was amazing. But I wanted to know more. Sometimes you listen to a company’s spiel about sustainability, diversity, inclusivity, and fair trade, and you realize it’s largely performative. There is a lot of virtue-signaling in the coffee industry. I wanted to know where Joe Coffee stood.
JNP Coffee from Burundi
The Joe Coffee
blog revealed a lot about this company---mainly that they walk the talk.
|Jeanine Niyonzima Aroian
One of their
suppliers is a Burundi-based company, JNP Coffee, founded in 2010, which exclusively
represents female coffee farmers and is owned by Jeanine Niyonzima Aroian. Jeanine is
an international businesswoman, who immigrated from Burundi to the U.S. when she was young and
wanted to give back. She started Burundi Friends International in 2008, which
provides English-language classes, libraries, and scholarships for children in
every province of Burundi.
It was during
this time that Jeanine learned about the coffee industry. Jeanine connected
with the Joe Coffee team at the New York Coffee Festival in 2019, and her gender
equity work resonated deeply with them. The rest is history. JNP coffees are
part of Joe Coffee’s Atlas Collection.
Learn more about
Joe Coffee here.