At Parkhurst, we’re passionate about food, but we’re also committed to knowing where our food and products come from. Through our Know Your Source program, we work with local partners who grow, create, and produce within 100 miles of our Parkhurst locations. Some examples of our Local Forged Partners — family and/or independently owned artisan makers and producers — include these coffee partnerships. Learn about a few of them below!
The NCC Coffee Lab is an on-campus, in-house coffee roastery at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., that started in 2005 when students founded the organization “Students in Free Enterprise” (now Enactus) to import and package coffee beans from Guatemala for local sales. Since 2006, professors Gerald Thalmann and Dr. Matthew Krystal have led biannual trips to Guatemala to help students better understand social entrepreneurship and its impact. In addition to these trips, NCC also offers seminars and courses on financial decision-making and the business aspect of coffee, and students who study everything from engineering to business are all involved in learning their role in the process. Plus, the money made at the NCC Coffee Lab goes directly to helping fund these projects!
Zeke’s Coffee, a local Baltimore-based small-batch coffee company, started with one man and a coffee roaster. Thomas Rhoades sold his first pound of coffee at the Baltimore Farmers’ Market in November 2005, and by April 2006, he had opened his first retail space in the Lauraville neighborhood of Baltimore. Today, Zeke’s operates two café locations in Baltimore, two more locations in Washington, D.C., and of course frequent pop-ups at Loyola University Maryland, where students can sample Nitro Cold Brew, Hot Coffee, and Chocolate Espresso Bean offerings.
Started by the father-and-son duo Bill Swoope and Bill Swoope Jr., “The Bills” swooped in on the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh to open their first coffee shop in 1993. Eventually, The Coffee Tree Roasters grew into five retail locations throughout the Pittsburgh region, as well as many licensed stores, a whole division roastery known as Iron Star Roasting Company, and the full-service espresso equipment and repair company Espresso Solutions. Today, Jean Swoope runs the operation, which makes The Coffee Tree Roasters a certified woman-owned and -operated business. Chatham University students enjoy Coffee Tree’s rich coffee creations at Café Rachel, the on-campus coffee shop.