We interviewed James and Dave from Companion Whole Foods about who they are, their passions, and why you should check out their fieldtripps:
What do you guys do?
We have a whole foods company that supplies four products: coffee, cacao, quinoa, and panela, an unrefined whole cane sugar. Our slogan is farm to family and we deal directly with indigenous farmers in Colombia mostly in the Narino area which is the hotbed of organic free trade and fair trade products.
What made you decide to get into this?
At a tradeshow in Colombia, I met all these huge conglomerates and felt disenfranchised by how corporate it all was. Two indigenous farmers walked up to me and said they’re from a town called Narino and asked if I could help them. Having worked with indigenous people in Vancouver, I was eager to learn more.
I went to visit their town, stayed with them and since then they’ve become a second family to me. The farmers there pick the coffee, cacao, and sugarcane and they process it themselves.
What makes you guys do what you’re doing?
Our slogan is farm to family and we work exclusively in Narino. Considered the bread basket of Colombia this region has the precise elevation, sun, humidity, equatorial distance, volcanic soil, to grow the best quality coffee, cacao and sugar products in the country.
We’ve been so fortunate to have been invited into this community and we want our customers to get a taste of this through our products and our workshops.
Nothing gets me more excited than telling our customers that the last person who touched those beans in the bag was the guy who grew it.
How can what you’re doing right now change the world?
Make life better for the farmers, by enabling them to reliably earn more money.
I also believe in causing small changes. For example if your daughter starts eating our products, only using 100% natural, organically grown, mineral rich panela on her cereal. When she goes over to her friend’s house is offered a bowl of white sugar and she politely declines because she knows it’s bad for you, she makes a statement that’s infectious. You’re creating habits and those habits can feed into a new generation of people that are thinking about how can they can become a better companion?
What should everybody know about your fieldtripps?
They are great value. Our current fieldtripp we’re teaching is called Bean to Chocolate Bar. It’s all about turning cacao into chocolate, showing people how to do it at home. In 20 minutes, you can have a healthy product and get to go home with their own handmade chocolate.
Check out Companion Whole Foods’ Bean to Chocolate Bar fieldtripp here.