Tag Archive | "McConn Coffee Co"

McConn’s coffee-roasting source anti-slavery

By Erika Drake

McConn Coffee Co. is an experience that nearly every Indiana Wesleyan University student has had. Walking around campus, coffee cups can be seen in hundreds of students’ hands, but how many students know where that coffee came from?

Too often, well-known coffee companies are discovered with connections to the use of child slave labor.

Gary Goldstein of the National Coffee Association, which represents the companies that make Folgers, Maxwell House and Nescafe, among other brands, said, “This industry isn’t responsible for what happens in a foreign country,” according to EarthSave International.

Dillanos Coffee Roasters – McConn’s roasting source – is devoted to using ethical methods of supplying coffee beans. Although some coffee companies have suppliers that connect to child slavery, Purchasing Manager Perry Krause (sr) said McConn is conscious of every company with which is does business.

Last year, McConn switched roasting companies due to larger demands for coffee at IWU, as McConn is the second largest coffee shop in Indiana as far as revenues in a single location, according to Krause. He also said Dillanos was chosen based on its number of quality options and use of fair trade coffee.

Krause said he thinks students at IWU are more aware of child slavery within the coffee industry than other college campuses due to chapels and events held to raise awareness of injustices in the world. He thinks students could become more aware on the specifics of the coffee industry’s involvement with child slave labor, so they can know which brands to buy in the store.

“If you don’t know the difference between the quality of coffee, you just buy the brand you know. The brands that have, in business we say, ‘share of mind,’” Krause said. “You look for stuff you know and obviously you won’t find Dillanos in a convenient store.”

One way students can be sure they are buying ethically-made coffee is to look for the fair trade certification label on the brands. At Walmart, fair trade certified brands include Starbucks Coffee Company and Great Value coffee. At Meijer, Starbucks Coffee Company, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Reunion Island Coffee make the list.

Dillanos often goes above and beyond the call of a typical coffee company when it comes to the treatment and care of their coffee bean farmers, according to Krause. McConn is partnering with Dillanos to promote its efforts.

One way McConn hopes to support them is by using Dillanos’ One Harvest project on table tents. The project is committed to the well-being of its importing and exporting partners by offering unique educational opportunities, health benefits and environmental projects, according to Dillanos’ website.

Krause hopes that next fall, McConn will have table tents that depict the process of how the products they use are yielded. This will provide students with an idea of all the aspects and steps involved in getting them the beverages they consume almost every day.

Educating customers is a fairly new marketing scheme and it’s very difficult, according to Krause, but he said McConn has been working on it and is looking forward to implementing it at IWU.

“Being students, we like to be on the cutting edge, but you don’t want to do something and not give it your all and not know a lot about it,” Krause said, alluding to the new marketing endeavors.

In the future, Krause hopes student groups and organizations can use McConn’s contacts to help host an event that raises awareness on child slavery in the coffee industry.

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Summer at IWU

The Indiana Wesleyan University campus was buzzing with activity over the summer. While the months of June, July and August were free of classes, work continued for IWU’s Jackson Library, Conference Services, McConn Coffee Co. and Chick-fil-A.

“A lof of people ask me if there’s anything to do in the summer,” said Mandy Schmucker (jr), a circulation assistant at Jackson Library. “Although we don’t have as many students, we still have professors and [attendees of] conferences and some community people who come in.

“I think people forget that professors are studying year-round. As a professor, you have to keep up with your learning and stay on top of your field. We are also here for people who come to conferences. They’re allowed to check out a book for a week while they stay here.”

Conferences added a significant amount of traffic on campus this summer, according to Matt Yoder, assistant director of conference services. He and his team of 29 student workers helped the university host a total of 83 conferences between the months of May and August.

According to Yoder, IWU hosted a total of 14,931 guests on campus and in the dorms over the summer. This is an
increase of about 2,500 people from summer 2011. “It’s a little bit more than that by the time we add in commuters,” said Yoder. “It gets really busy.

“We had everything from just your standard youth group, to adult groups, to college folk, … to kid’s camps and athletic teams.”

A few of the groups to visit were the Fellowship of Christian Magicians, the Indian Brother Fellowship, the Reformed Presbyterian Conference, Wesleyan Global Partners,, the Spanish Conference of the Wesleyan Church and Harmony Explosion, a conference for high school male barbershop singers. There were also about 100 students of Asian descent from Wheaton Academy in Chicago who came and stayed on campus for five weeks for intensive English-language schooling.

The Conference Services office also hosted internal conferences for the Center for Life Calling and Leadership, the graduate programs and the John Wesley Honors College.

“We brought the world to Marion,” Yoder said.

The conference traffic also brought in business for McConn, which was open consistently through the months of June and July for the first time ever, but was closed for the full month of August, according to Nick Graham (sr), one of the three main baristas who worked over the summer.

Graham said most of McConn’s summer business came from faculty members, about 100 student workers and conference attendees.

“The faculty come and buy a lot of drinks. They buy the same number of drinks [as they would during the school year],” said Graham. “But you’re still down a client base of 3,200 students. So, it was slow at times.”

No matter how slow business might have been, it was still profitable. “We made money, just not a lot,” said Graham.

However, McConn’s summer venture wasn’t so much about profit as it was about kindness. “We weren’t open for the money. We were open for the convenience, to my understanding,” Graham said.

“It was a learning experience, learning how much of what to order for next summer. That’s what this summer was really about, I think, figuring out whether or not we want to be open and if so how we would do it. We spent a lot of time trying to figure that out,” said Graham, who was unsure if McConn would be open again next summer.

This summer was also a first for the campus’ Chick-fil-A. Manager Qualaun Reed oversaw the activity.

Through these businesses, IWU continues to impact the immediate community, as well as visitors year-round.

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Crema – Zach Dubois

Zach Dubois plays “Indiana” at McConn Coffee Company’s Crema on March 22, 2012

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Crema – Rubies and Rations

Rubies and Rations play at McConn Coffee Company’s Crema on March 22, 2012.

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