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We buy local coffee… mostly.

At Momentum, we like to put our money where our mouth is. This means acting on our values around sustainability – especially when it comes to the things we, quite literally, put in our mouths. This approach applies to our food, which we try to buy from local small businesses and cooperatives, and our coffee.

We drink a lot of coffee here at Momentum. Between staff, volunteers, visitors and the thousands of Calgarians living on low incomes who walk through our doors every year, our office goes through 30 to 40 large carafes of coffee every day!

For many years, Momentum has purchased fair trade coffee to ensure that we give coffee farmers overseas the same chance at a sustainable livelihood that we give our participants here in Calgary.

Then along came Brandon!

Brandon graduated from Momentum’s Self Employment program and launched Good Trade Company, to sell direct trade coffee from small-hold Colombian farms. This gave us the opportunity to support coffee farmers overseas and a local small business at the same time. Double Sustainability Win!

Momentum now buys coffee from Good Trade. It’s great coffee!

In fact, you should go ahead and order some right now, we can wait while you pour a cup…


This would be a great end to the story, but it gets a bit more complicated. Buying small batches of locally roasted, direct trade coffee is a great option for an individual or a family. But for an organization as thirsty for caffeine as ours, it just doesn’t scale up.

We buy some of our coffee from Good Trade, and we get the rest from Costco. Ethical Bean coffee from Costco is 100% fair trade and organic coffee from a Canadian B-Corporation that runs LEED-certified facilities. Just as importantly, it’s sold in bulk at affordable prices.

We know that making sustainable purchasing decisions isn’t always easy or straightforward. We make tradeoffs every day. But we also believe it’s worth contributing what we can to the local economy, to environmental sustainability, and to the well-being of all workers. Every dollar put towards long-term sustainability counts.