JUNE SUSTAINABLE ROASTER OF THE MONTH
Welcome to our blog segment, “Sustainable Roaster of the Month,” where we highlight coffee roasters who go above and beyond to promote sustainable practices in the industry. This month, we are thrilled to feature Bonito Coffee Roasters, based in the picturesque town of Ojai, California. With their unwavering commitment to minimizing their carbon footprint and fostering sustainable partnerships, Bonito Coffee Roasters stands as a beacon of eco-consciousness within the coffee community.
Carlos Ramirez, the founder of Bonito Coffee Roasters, has a deeply ingrained connection to the world of coffee that spans generations. Born and raised in a small town in Nicaragua, Carlos grew up immersed in the culture of coffee. He learned the intricate logistics of coffee production, from the process of growing, farming, and harvesting the beans to their distribution. But beyond the economic aspects, Carlos experienced coffee as a powerful force that brought people together, a cherished ritual, and an integral part of family life.
When Carlos initially came to the United States in his twenties, it was meant to be a temporary adventure, a brief exploration of Los Angeles before returning to Nicaragua to start his own coffee farm. However, fate had different plans for him. Carlos fell in love, got married, and became a father to three beautiful children. While he ventured into the corporate world, his passion for coffee remained a constant presence, lingering in the background.
In 2016, when Carlos’s family decided to leave city life behind and embrace the enchanting Ojai Valley, a profound connection to the land was rekindled within him. The time felt right to heed the call he had been hearing. Carlos traveled back to Nicaragua, immersing himself in the farms, touching and smelling the coffee beans, searching for exceptional quality that would align with his vision of farm-to-cup coffee. Importing these carefully selected beans, he set up the birthplace of Bonito Coffee Roasters in the shed behind his house.
In 2018, Bonito Coffee Roasters took a significant step forward by establishing its roasting room on Bryant Circle. While the facilities have expanded, Carlos remains intimately involved in every step of the process. He personally handles each small batch roast, ensuring that his dedication to quality and craftsmanship shines through in every cup.
Carlos’s journey from his coffee-immersed upbringing in Nicaragua to establishing Bonito Coffee Roasters in Ojai is a testament to his unwavering passion for coffee and his deep-rooted connection to the land. With every sip of Bonito Coffee, you can taste the commitment, love, and expertise that Carlos brings to each batch.
Bonito Coffee's Sustainable Practices
Bonito Coffee Roasters takes a holistic approach to sustainability, ensuring every step of their coffee production journey aligns with their core values. From the farms they work with to the disposal of coffee grounds, they have implemented several initiatives to reduce their environmental impact.
Compostable Bags: Recognizing the harmful effects of traditional packaging on the environment, Bonito Coffee Roasters recently made the switch to fully compostable bags. By using these eco-friendly bags, they contribute to the reduction of plastic waste and support the principles of a circular economy. They also use stamps instead of stickers.
Hybrid Vehicle Deliveries: To further reduce their carbon emissions, Bonito Coffee Roasters employs a hybrid vehicle for their deliveries. This choice demonstrates their commitment to sustainable transportation solutions and sets an example for other businesses in the industry. (If it’s a really close delivery, they will deliver via pedal-powered)
Reusable Containers: Bonito Coffee Roasters strives to minimize single-use packaging by opting for reusable containers whenever possible. When delivering their coffee to wholesale accounts, they use metal buckets and their signature Bonito Coffee branded airscape canisters for refills. This initiative not only reduces waste but also promotes a culture of reusability among their partners.
Collaborating with Like-Minded Companies: Although they primarily serve wholesale accounts, they actively seek partnerships with like-minded companies that share their vision for sustainability. They partner with companies that prioritize local products, sustainable and regenerative practices, and ocean-friendly initiatives; Bonito Coffee Roasters extends their influence beyond their own operations. Through these collaborations, they encourage their customers to support businesses that share their commitment to a healthier planet.
Roast-to-Order: Small batch roasting means more than exquisite tasting coffee, it means no wasted product. Bonito Coffee only makes roast-to-order coffee.
Farm-to-Cup: Through the personal relationships that owner Carlos has with these farmers, Bonito is able to stay connected directly with the source of their coffee. Having this personal connection helps the transparency and dialogue about quality and organic farming practices. Due to this close relationship with their farmers, Bonito Coffee purchases their beans directly from farmers, so there’s no extra shipping between a third party, and the farmer receives 100% of the fee.
In a world where environmental consciousness is becoming increasingly critical, Bonito Coffee Roasters leads the way by demonstrating that sustainable practices can be integrated seamlessly into daily operations. Bonito Coffee believes that sustainable coffee farming is as important as the quality of the final cup, and we applaud their efforts and encourage coffee enthusiasts everywhere to support businesses like Bonito Coffee Roasters, who are dedicated to making a positive impact on the planet.