Forecastle Festival is nearly here, which means you might be gearing up for a music-filled day or weekend. Maybe you’ve even listened to your Forecastle playlist enough times you know the songs by heart.
At Heine Brothers’, Forecastle Festival time means more than a great lineup. It also marks the anniversary of an important partnership with Forecastle Foundation, the nonprofit that continues the original festival’s mission of environmental activism and conservation.
The Kentucky Dream partnership, which began last year, donates $5 of the proceeds from each bag of Kentucky Dream coffee to restore the world’s “natural awesome” here in Kentucky. The Forecastle Foundation works with The Nature Conservancy to protect the broad range of wildlife at Green River in Central Kentucky and the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust to preserve Pine Mountain in Eastern Kentucky.
You might ask, why those specific areas? Both Green River & Pine Mountain represent some of the country’s most biologically-rich areas – right in our own backyard. The foundation works to protect these and other highly threatened hot spots, around the world.
Holly McKnight, Chairman of the foundation’s board, sums up the spirit of the partnership, “Kentucky is truly a dreamy place, and we’re dedicated to making it stay that way.”
And for the team at the Forecastle Foundation, the festival gives them the opportunity to showcase the World’s Natural Awesome, and how important it is to protect it. With the Forecastle Fest Nest, festival goers will be able to take a break, #sipnsupport with the Foundation’s partners, and learn more about their mission.
“It’s the one chance we have each year to get in front of a new audience and showcase the work we’re doing and give our incredible partners a voice to the Forecastle audience,” Holly says.
That exposure makes an impact: last year alone, the Forecastle Foundation contributed more than $75,000 to conservation project partners in Kentucky, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region. And if you drank Kentucky Dream last year, you helped with that contribution in Kentucky.
Over 1,406 bags of Kentucky Dream have already been sold, but that doesn’t mean the Forecastle Foundation team is resting on it’s laurels.
“Kentucky Dream has already been so critical to the work that we’re doing in Kentucky – on Pine Mountain with Kentucky Natural Lands Trust and on the Green River with the Nature Conservancy – Kentucky Chapter. The best we can hope for is that this partnership continues to flourish, that people continue to see the value in drinking delicious coffee for a cause – and that we’re able to expand our efforts to protect more of the precious places in this great state of ours,” Holly explains.
And when we asked where the most “naturally awesome” place to enjoy a cup of Kentucky Dream is, Holly answered, “The best thing about Kentucky is that there are innumerable places of beauty and inspiration. Whether it be atop Pine Mountain, hiking the gorge, exploring our massive cave network, kayaking the Green River, or just sitting in your backyard – Kentucky Dream is a delicious way for everyone to support and protect the land you love. Of course, The Forecastle Festival isn’t a bad place to indulge either.”
Guess you’ll just have to get out and explore Kentucky to decide for yourself!
Whether you’re listening live this weekend or avoiding the crowd at the waterfront like it’s the zombie apocalypse, you can still support Forecastle Foundation. Check it out:
Drinking coffee makes doing good easy (and tasty), but there are so many ways to contribute to Forecastle Foundation’s efforts to protect and rebuild the world’s natural awesome. Apply to become a project partner, make a donation, or volunteer as an Oarsman or Sustainer.
Kentucky Dream is available year-round! You can buy at any of our Heine Brothers’ locations, order it online, or find it at the Whole Foods Market in Louisville.
Meet The Maker: Karen Weeks
If you’ve seen our Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kochere, chances are the first thing you noticed before taking a sip was the beautifully designed bag. That’s thanks to local printer Karen Weeks, the maker behind our Explorer Series coffee bags.
Karen describes her design style as a balance, “between what I would call handmade, but also ‘Chosen’ – with an intentional feel.”
Karen achieves that style by first hand drawing the design, then tweaking details, planning size, and experimenting with colors in Photoshop. Afterwards her design gets transferred to a woodblock via a laser cutter, that will then leave an impression of the pattern on the paper. Each color of the pattern represents one time through the press. For the bag’s text, Karen typesets the individual letters(the movable metal type).
After mixing and preparing the colored inks, she applies it to the roller of Heidelberg Windmill letterpress. When the woodcut is aligned and the press is turned on, it will individually stamp the design on the paper of each bag sleeve.
You can see the impressive results of this process when you check out the recently released Sumatra Silk bag, the second of the small-lot Explorer Series coffees.
Like the first Explorer Series bag, Karen’s design for Sumatra Silk was heavily shaped by the origins of the coffee. Costume patterns from the Gayo region of Sumatra caught her eye when researching the Permata Gayo Cooperative, the group of farmers producing the beans for the Sumatra.
The patterns on the bag’s sleeves are modeled from the textures and forms of the regional dress, and the colors she chose are traditional to the area as well.
“I really like textiles. I’ve always been drawn to that – one of my other focuses in school was textiles, and then when I was living in Germany I was doing a lot of knitting and sewing.”
And that crafted influence in her work was especially appropriate for the Explorer Series project, because it’s “like all the hands that grew and worked on this coffee.”
Textiles weren’t the only influence on her style, though. Karen grew up in Louisville, but has lived all over, often in the pursuit of her art. From her first job as a professional printer in New York City, to a non-paying apprenticeship in small-town Alabama, to San Francisco, Detroit and even Germany, Karen’s clean but handmade style has developed through her exposure to the different artists she’s worked with or studied.
Even her current studio roommate, who she divides the printing space with, has shared tools and typographic knowledge that has helped her develop some of the techniques she’s used for the Explorer Series project.
“You can always learn from what’s around you. It’s about doing what’s natural in the environment you are currently in… Making [art] for other people, people you care about, is a great place to start. Making art they will love and then just keep doing it.”
If you loved her work on the last two Explorer Series bags as much as we have, be on the lookout for her designs on the next two coffees in the series.
Her personal favorite of Heine Brothers’ coffees? She’s sticking to the iced latte: “I love the Iced Latte, I’m just going to go ahead and say it. I don’t get it very often because it’s a treat, but the Iced Latte.”
Contact Karen Weeks at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info or business interest!
Heine Brothers’ Coffee Brewing Up Portland Warehouse District Revitalization
Growing coffee roaster to open new corporate offices, roastery, warehouse, and training center.
Louisville, KY (April 18, 2016) – Heine Brothers’ Coffee announced today that it is making a major redevelopment move in the important historic Louisville neighborhood becoming known as the Portland Warehouse District. In an expansion of operations, the 13 store organic and fair trade coffee company will soon begin renovating a more than 100 year old building at 1301 W. Main St. The 40,000 square foot building, which boasts an additional 40,000 square feet of basement space on the northwest corner of 13th and Main streets, will serve as a corporate office, roastery, warehouse and state-of-the-art training center.
“There is a lot of momentum on the west side of Ninth Street, and as a local company we see an opportunity to make a positive impact on the neighborhood,” said Heine Brothers’ President Mike Mays. “We’re excited about the potential to hug the phase 4 expansion of Waterfront Park West. To be in a beautiful building believed to be the city’s first steel beam warehouse constructed right after the turn of the century is another big draw. Combining our Offices, Roastery/Warehouse and Training Center in this new facility will energize our company, while also demonstrating our commitment to the renewal of the area.”
For the last 16 years, HVAC contractor, Automatic Air, has operated out of the building. Renovation will begin later this spring, with Heine Brothers’ targeting a late summer 2016 opening.
Heine Brothers’ will occupy 16,000 square feet of the building at 13th and Main, and is seeking to lease 24,000 square feet of commercial space.
The company’s corporate offices are currently located above Heine Brothers’ Crescent Hill store. Heine Brothers’ also has a small warehouse and training space in the Clifton neighborhood.
A total of 15 employees will soon work out of the new headquarters, roastery, training center, and warehouse, with room for additional growth.
About Heine Brothers’
Heine Brothers’ is a 100% fair trade and organic coffee roaster. The company opened their first shop in October 1994 in the Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, KY, and has 13 locations and a mobile Airstream espresso bar. Heine Brothers’ is committed to operating responsibly and sustainably – donating to numerous community groups, buying locally and co-founding the world’s 1st fair-trade coffee buying cooperative. The company is committed to continuing to deliver remarkable coffee shop experiences while staying focused on making an impact in Louisville and around the world. For more information, please visit heinebroscoffee.com or follow @HeineBrosCoffee.