What’s better than a morning energy boost from a delicious cup of joe? An organic, free trade blend of coffee: that’s what. Thanks to Mohawk’s newest café, The Fuel Station, students and faculty have easy access to a healthy alternative to their regular dose of caffeine.
Mohawk students weren’t sure what to expect when a Tim Horton’s outlet was replaced with The Fuel Station last month. This new coffee shop is owned by Relay Coffee Roasters, a local company created in Hamilton.
“I think the design is brilliant, and I think it’s very community-based,” says Fuel customer Dwitt Leggat. “It’s just a warm vibe altogether. This just feels a little more unique.”
Similar to Tim Horton’s, The Fuel Station provides students with an assortment of baked goods, teas, and of course, coffee. The factor that makes Relay Coffee Roasters stand out from the crowd is that it only serves certified fair trade and organic coffee. This means that each cup of coffee purchased at this cafe has been grown and harvested sustainably, without the use of harmful pesticides.
“When we decided to open up a coffee roaster, we decided we wanted 100 per cent of it to be organic,” explains Rachel Hofing, co-owner of Relay Coffee Roasters. “Because [most] coffee is sprayed so much and it has a lot of pesticides, we said that we don’t want anything other than organic coffee in our roasters. Just because it is the healthier choice.”
Creating a location at Mohawk College is another way that Relay has gotten involved in the local community. Relay also sponsors Supercrawl, the Hamilton Film Festival, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hammer City Roller Girls.
Hofing says: “Mohawk decided to go local. They wanted to do something sustainable and healthy, and fair-trade and organic, because the students were asking for it. We’ve been doing fair-trade and organic roasted coffee for nine years, so it was kind of a perfect match. The fair trade was really important to us. We think that if we want to get paid, then everybody should get paid-along the entire chain.”
Fair-trade certifications ensure that the farmers who grow this coffee are being properly paid.
“Their communities are being built, based on this,” explains Hofing. “We import from a number of different countries. Here at Mohawk, they have coffee from Sumatra, Colombia and Peru.”
The next time you crave a sweet treat or warm java at school, take a leap of faith and try out The Fuel Station, knowing there are more benefits than just a good caffeine kick.