Peace Coffee, a major player in Minnesota’s fair-trade coffee business, is exiting its retail shops and pivoting to a focus on wholesale accounts. The shops are currently shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Its flagship Wonderland Park location in the Longfellow of Minneapolis will transition its operations in December to Wildflyer Coffee, which focuses on providing job stability to youth experiencing homelessness. Its downtown coffee shops will simply remain closed.
The company’s full press release follows.
PEACE COFFEE EXITING RETAIL SHOPS TO FOCUS ON WHOLESALE BUSINESS
Company maintains community connection through partnership with Wildflyer Coffee at flagship Wonderland Park location
MINNEAPOLIS — Nov. 5, 2020—Peace CoffeeⓇ announced today it will shift away from retail coffee shops as it continues to focus on its growing wholesale roasted coffee bean business. The company is partnering with Wildflyer Coffee, a specialty coffee company providing job stability to youth experiencing homelessness, to operate its Wonderland Park location. The store in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis has been closed since March and is reopening under the Wildflyer Coffee name in December.
Wildflyer plans to include Peace Coffee when it takes over Wonderland Park operations at 3262 Minnehaha Avenue in Minneapolis. Peace Coffee will offer training and support for the organization as it opens its first permanent coffee shop. “We are honored to partner with Wildflyer to give the business a stable home and to help it pursue its mission of employing homeless youth—especially as homelessness in this very vulnerable population continues to rise during the pandemic,” says Lee Wallace, CEO and Queen Bean of Peace Coffee.
“Coffee is an important part of every community and Longfellow will still be caffeinated—just with a new name and an expanded mission supporting homeless youth,” adds Wallace. “We spent years weaving Peace Coffee into people’s lives at this location, so we are proud to give Wildflyer a built-in community in which to grow and prosper. Wildflyer moves into a space the community already loves and it is an organization that is also in it for good so it’s a perfect match for both companies.”
“We are beyond excited about this momentous step for Wildflyer Coffee, to not only grow our capacity and employ triple the number of young people than ever before, but to do so in a space that is already so well-loved,” says Carley Kammerer, executive director of Wildflyer Coffee. “We will employ at least twenty young people each year, helping cultivate work and life skills, and supporting their journeys out of homelessness. This work is especially important right now, in a year where we’ve received the most applications in our agency’s history. The time is now to invest in our youth and we couldn’t be happier to be doing it here, in this neighborhood, at this iconic coffee spot, and with the backing of our friends at Peace Coffee.”
Peace Coffee’s downtown stores also closed in March and will not reopen. “We are so proud of our retail team and grateful for the support we’ve enjoyed from our customers at all of our locations over the years,” says Wallace. “We hope Peace Coffee will continue to be part of daily routines and morning rituals, whether that’s supporting shops brewing our coffee or enjoying a cup of Peace at home.”
Wildflyer Coffee is a specialty coffee company providing job stability to youth experiencing homelessness, focused on compassionate service, building community and providing the skills needed for youth to spread their wings. For more, visit WildflyerCoffee.com.
Since 1996, Peace Coffee has been In It For Good. The socially conscious coffee roasting company is a Certified B Corp, bringing transparency to the coffee industry while delivering expertly roasted, small batch organic and fair-trade coffee (often via bicycle in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area) to its many fans. The beans for its blends, which include customer favorites like Tree Hugger, Twin Cities, and Birchwood, come from farmer-owned cooperatives in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, Colombia, Honduras, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sumatra. For more, visit PeaceCoffee.com.