For over a decade, EcoCafe has been providing Waterloo Region with countless varieties of globally-sourced certified Organic, Fair Trade, Direct Trade and Rainforest Alliance coffee beans. Freshly roasted and sold at our headquarters in St. Jacobs as well as offered at many specialty retail shops in the region, EcoCafe is proud to offer a truly different approach to your daily cup of joe.
In 2021, Eco opened a roaster and cupping lab in Waterloo, Ontario which now serves as our HQ. Stay tuned because we're aiming to make use of our new space to host public cuppings and other education sessions.
To learn more about us and about Edward, our founder, check out our feature on Go Solo!
The Evolution of an Idea
Edward and his team are true entrepreneurs - combining their passions for coffee, the environment, and the relationships it forms.
It all started after spending time living in Colombia, where Edward began learning the art of coffee growing, roasting and brewing. There, coffee is a lifestyle and a relationship builder, connecting him to his Colombian heritage. He honed his skills and upon returning to Kitchener-Waterloo, he discovered that there was a niche for fresh, high-quality, locally roasted coffee, and soon opened his first location in the city...
"As we began to delve into the roasting and production, it then became apparent that coffee was simply our medium, but that our business was about people and about relationships. I have always loved to converse, communicate and learn, what better way to do so than through others over coffee?
We want to excel in providing the best coffee to our community, to share information that educates them about the industry, where coffee comes from, who it comes from, how it is grown, milled, transported and processed. We want to educate others in the best processes which create the best results and create satisfaction for those interested in something better than the norm."
It all started as just an average relationship, one steaming cup of coffee and one inquisitive Colombian man. Many years ago, after living in Colombia, Edward learned about the history of coffee and how it shaped his culture and heritage.
Always curious by nature, Edward realized there was more to the rich, bold flavor of the beans; coffee is a lifestyle, it goes way beyond the brew. Buzzing with adrenaline (and probably over-caffeinated), he started leaning. Edward realized that coffee needed to be cared for and properly harvested to preserve its most authentic flavor. Now in Canada, he set out on a mission to preserve that quality and the efforts of the campesinos and bring real, delicious coffee to the Waterloo Region.
From that moment forward, EcoCafe became a platform for coffee enthusiasts to enjoy the finest selection of quality, organic, fair-trade, and sustainable coffee. A rather hefty goal, but one that’s been tried, tested and tasted.
Enough chit chat. Let’s drink coffee.
Dan was trained to taste and appreciate the nuanced flavour of coffee by his father at an early age. He has since consumed countless varieties of coffee, cataloging each and every one along the way. By commencing at such an early age, and finishing culinary school, he has been able to perfect his palate and can now roast any coffee to its optimal profile using his vast experience.
Get ready to be wowed! Aura, our superstar manager from Mexico, is not only a talented chef that created the cafe's menu but is also the artist behind our cafe's mural. Aura makes sure that the café runs smooth as can be, creating a wonderful, warm community atmosphere. Come down and say hi! ask some questions, she really knows her stuff.
What doesn't Brandon do? Accounting, packing and delivery, order fulfilment, content creation, label design, customer service, IT.... we could go on. Brandon has been an absolutely wonderful addition to our team and has become integral to our operations. All hail the cupping king!
Broadly in charge of all things new at Eco, Kat has been working to create a green bean home roasting program and to establish our coffee tasting protocols at EcoCoffee HQ. She also writes blog content and contributes photos to our @ecocafestjacobs Instagram. As a student in the School of Environment, Resources, and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo, she has a deep appreciation for the complexity of the sustainability issues and systems involved in the coffee industry and hopes to apply this knowledge to her work at Eco.