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2 Family-Owned Companies Are Crafting Coffee With a Conscience


Though it’s been in business for 85 years, consumers may not be familiar with Barrie House Coffee Roasters in Elmsford. Up to 75% of the company’s business is private-label roasting for brands like Martha Stewart and veterans-mental-health nonprofit Headstrong. (Find Barrie House’s own coffees on its website and on Amazon.) “The consumer base has changed significantly since this company’s start, in 1934,” says CEO Craig James. “Consumers have become more educated and desire great taste from a good coffee.”

To that end, Barrie House sources 65% fair-trade and organic coffees, says James. The company is also teaming up with World Coffee Research and the National Science Foundation on an initiative to assist farmers. “We’re committed to investing where the coffee is being grown, in farmers and their lives,” says John C. Fallon, head of marketing. “Consumers, especially Millennials, care about where their coffee comes from, the conditions on the ground, and have environmental concerns when it comes to packaging.” (Barrie House’s label for Martha Stewart features all fair-trade organic beans, plus recyclable K-Cups.)


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Ethical concerns are also a driving force for Lokah Coffee, started in Pound Ridge in November 2018 by spouses David and Kate Jordan. “We’re both passionate about coffee and, after the birth of our daughter, were looking for a business that would help women have a more equal playing field,” says Kate.

Lokah’s all-organic coffees are exclusively grown by women in Mexico, Guatemala, and Sumatra, with the beans purchased at or above fair-trade prices. “All of our profits are donated back to the farmers,” says Kate, noting that the packaging (designed by David) spells out the company’s mission on the bags. In addition to Lokah’s subscription service and online sales, find its coffees at Plum Plums Cheese in Pound Ridge and At Land in Dobbs Ferry — fittingly, both women-owned businesses.