Join Community Dining, Katherine Bissell Cordova, executive director of Chicago Fair Trade, and Jake Elster, co-founder of Crop to Cup Coffee Importers, for a Moroccan-inspired dinner prepared by Chef Ronak Patel using Fair Trade ingredients and a robust discussion of the ethical and economic consequences of Fair and Direct Trade at Read It & Eat, a culinary bookstore located in the heart of Lincoln Park.
The ticket price includes dinner, tax, gratuity, fair trade wine from Bodega Ramos, fair trade coffee from Metropolis Coffee, direct trade tea from Adagio Teas, fair and direct trade chocolate from Wild Ophelia and Cocoa + Co., fair and direct trade ice cream from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, the opportunity to learn about fair trade businesses such as Causegear, Heshima Kenya, Zizzle Boutique, and Greenheart Shop, and a $20 off promo code for first time customers toward Eat Purely, an organic meal delivery service.
7:00 to 7:15: Arrive, mingle, and interact with vendors (passed appetizers and wine served)
7:15 to 7:45: Fair and Direct Trade discussion
7:45: Dinner served (discussion may continue into dinner)
Warm Mejool dates stuffed with smoked almonds and goat cheese
Harissa butter poached shrimp
Spiced roasted root vegetable soup garnished with house made yogurt, chive oil and fried shallots
Ras el Hanout braised lamb (from Catalpa Grove Farm in Dwight, IL) with dried plums, cashews, red peppers, and artichokes in a tomato sauce
Saffron (from Rumi Spice) Maftoul with preserved lemons and peas
Ice Cream, Coffee and Chocolate tasting
Fair Trade wine:
Fair Valley Chenin Blanc:
Chenin Blanc may be SA's best varietal. light to medium bodied (though this version leans towards the lighter side) it showcases green apple aromas, light minerality and a bright, crisp finish. Enough weight to carry dishes with richness, but versatile enough to pair with all lighter fare.
Fair Valley Pinotage:
Pinotage was out of favor among SA winemakers for a while, but has been experiencing a resurgence. Dark fruit, with a touch of mocha and spice on the dry but soft finish.
Fair Trade is an alternative approach to conventional trade and is based on a partnership between producers and consumers. When farmers can sell on Fair Trade terms, it provides them with a better deal and improved terms of trade. This allows them the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future.
Fair Trade offers consumers a powerful way to reduce poverty through their every day shopping.
1. Does the cost of fair trade certification offset the economic benefits of the fair trade certification?
2. What effect does fair trade have on impoverished farmers?
3. Who benefits most from fair trade and how can the benefits of fair trade be quantified?
4. Is fair trade more sustainable than direct trade?
5. How can fair trade become more transparent and more closely trace where all the money goes?
Read It & Eat
Established in 2015, Read It & Eat is dedicated to providing food lovers with exceptional culinary experiences through carefully selected books, classes and discussions.
The book collection highlights selections on cooking, travel, biographies, essays and history.
Read It & Eat has a calendar of events that includes author/chef signings, discussions, demonstrations, tastings and cooking classes and a cookbook club meets monthly to discuss books, recipes and techniques while enjoying a meal together.
Description of purveyors and Special Offers:
Canaan Fair Trade
Canaan Fair Trade sells olive oil and other delicacies produced by over 1,700 small farmers, organized in village cooperatives and represented by the Palestine Fair Trade Association (PFTA). We supply bulk as well as finished and packaged olive oil and other goods to Europe, North America, Australia, Asia and the Middle East. Our olive oil and all of our products come with a Palestinian Certificate of Origin. A large and growing portion of them are certified Organic.
Wild Ophelia is a Fair Trade, non-GMO chocolate line that embodies the spirit and flavors of America. Ophelia is our maverick muse who is passionate about exceptional ingredients from farmers and artisans, fostering fellow female entrepreneurs, and living the American dream.
Wild Ophelia was created by Vosges Haut-Chocolat founder, Katrina Markoff, to encourage, educate and propel American high school and college girls who have entrepreneurial dreams in food.
To honor its commitment to inspire, encourage, and help empower American female entrepreneurs through its chocolate, Wild Ophelia will contribute a portion of sales from every chocolate sold to the Wild Ophelia Accelerator Program, which awards three grants each year.
Cocoa + Co.
Come explore The Chocolate Life!
There has never been a more thrilling time to be an adventurous chocolate lover. The last decade has seen an explosion of pastry chefs and chocolatiers from Barcelona to Boston. They are experimenting with technique and flavor, finding the best ingredients and forging partnerships with local growers. They are constantly challenging convention and constraints, and the results are ever changing, exciting, and always delectable.
Cocoa + Co. is a celebration of these talented artisans, seeking out the most exceptional, selecting their best work and bringing their stories to you. Our mission is to curate a journey of discovery that is nuanced, beguiling and infinitely delicious.
Born of a life-long obsession with all things chocolate, Cocoa + Co. is a dream that’s taken more than ten years to become reality. While working with winemakers like Michel Chapoutier and Angelo Gaja, owner Kim Hack learned the importance of place, varietal and craftsmanship and recognized the correlation with chocolate. She began to long for a gathering place where chocolate lovers could fuel their passion through exploration, tasting and interaction in the same way wine lovers do at neighborhood merchants and cafes. Cocoa + Co. is exactly the spot Kim always dreamed of hanging out in.
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
We are absolutely devoted to making better ice creams and bringing people together. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning and keeps us up late at night. We believe that you can grow a business as a community of people, with artful attention to detail and the customer experience, and get continuously better at the same time. That REALLY great ice cream served perfectly in a sparkling and beautiful space, with attentive and in-the-moment service (we believe service is an art) brings people together and helps them connect. And that sometimes sparks fly. And that there should be more sparks flying, generally. We like to make people feel good.
It takes a community of people to build ice cream from the ground up: growers, makers, producers, suppliers, customers. We call it the fellowship model—combining values from the good food world with tools from the 21st century. We believe we get higher quality ingredients when we have relationships with the people we’re buying from, so we buy direct whenever we can. Making ice cream this way requires more work and skill than traditional ice creams made with flavorings and colorings, but we think it’s worth it.
Jeni’s is a Certified B Corporation endorsed by the international nonprofit B Lab as a company that meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Using Direct Trade and Fair Trade ingredients, employing a diverse team of people, working with women- and minority-owned businesses—it’s all part of how we operate and an important part of our company culture.
Neighborhood Wine Store, Spirits, and Craft Beer shop with an eclectic selection spanning all price points, and outstanding service.
Founder Mateo Ramos's passion for wine and spirits began when he was an 11 year old boy visiting his grandfather in Europe for the summer. There, he was introduced to Europe’s Culinary culture and history, and the seed was planted. Though he had to wait a while before he could act on his interest in wine, his passion for cooking and pairing flavors continued. In Adulthood, his passion for wine led him to find work in the industry.
With over 15 years in the Chicago Wine & Spirits business, Mateo has almost seen it all. After selling wine wholesale for 10 years, he decided to open his own shop, Bodega Ramos. Now on its 7th year, Bodega Ramos is ranked among the best in the city, and continues to introduce customers to new products and provide excellent customer service along the way.
It would be easy to say that Metropolis Coffee was born in 2003 and be done with it, but the truth is always more complicated. Here is the real Metropolis Story...
Jeff Dreyfuss (the father) was a somewhat disgruntled Indonesian Language Professor at the University of Washington-Seattle in the late 90s and early Naughts. Everyday after class, he would ride to his favorite roasteria/cafe in Seattle and have an espresso macchiato while ruminating his day. Over time, he got to know the master roaster and coffee buyer for the company, and was invited into the back rooms for coffee cupping.
Entranced by the differences between coffee varietals, and by the mechanics of roasting and processing coffee, Jeff became a coffee roasting and cupping junkie. Hooked, he couldn't go a day without learning, tasting, and discussing the infinitely complex yet completely understandable world of coffee.
Tony Dreyfuss (the son) completed a Philosophy degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1998. After trying many things that you are supposed to do with a Philosophy degree (cab driver, ice cream truck driver, pizza delivery driver, submarine sandwich delivery driver) he landed on a job at Peet's Coffee in Portland, Oregon as the lowest level floor sweeper and bean counter.
Heaven! Tony was in heaven learning about coffee, and soon worked his way up to trainer, shift-leader, before eventually joining the management team.
Jeff and Tony talked about coffee a lot. In fact, that's pretty much all they could talk about. Not that they are lousy conversationalists, it's just that they had been bitten by the coffee bug, and the bite bred the obsession for the brew..
In 2001 they decided to just do it. And the rest, as they say, is history. On December 21st, 2003, Metropolis Coffee Company opened her doors to the public. Some dreams turn to dust, others to gold, but the dream of Jeff and Tony Dreyfuss turned to a Mondo mug of Metropolis Coffee.
Not the end, but not exactly the beginning either...
The finest teas in the world are made by hand in small batches. These artisan masterpieces are available in limited quantities and for a short time.
To try these affordable luxuries, we invite you to discover our Masters Collection, an evolving set of specially selected teas that highlight exceptional skill in the art of tea making.
To ensure the best quality and value, we import our teas directly from the countries in which they are grown, working closely with the farmers who tend them.
The Roots Campaign connects out customers with the rich stories and the farmers behind some of our most popular teas.
Lear more about these artisans by visting adagio.com/roots and stop by our stores to mail your favorites a "thank you" card.
Guests as first time customers will receive a unique $20 off promo code toward Eat Purely, a great service that delivers chef-crafted, all organic meals to resident's doors in 20 minutes or less.
At Rumi Spice we strive to provide high-quality, sustainably farmed saffron to US consumers by sourcing directly from rural Afghan farmers in an economic partnership. We reinvest our profits to build the agricultural and manufacturing infrastructure necessary to lay a foundation for peace and prosperity.
In previous years, neglect of the rural Afghan majority contributed to the rise of the Taliban, who capitalized on historic grievances. Without investment in agriculture, Afghan farmers have little prospects with shrinking land allotments - making them susceptible to the Taliban.
Rumi Spice strives to change this dynamic. We provide Afghan farmers with a direct market to produce and sell saffron globally.
About Chicago Fair Trade and Katherine Bissell Cordova:
Chicago Fair Trade (CFT) is the largest fair trade coalition in the USA, comprised of a dedicated base of member businesses, educational institutions, congregations, non-profit organizations, and individual activists. CFT increases support for economic and environmental justice through consumer education, advocacy, and promotion of local fair trade businesses. CFT is proud to be a local and national leader in raising awareness about and building support for fair trade and its principles of environmental sustainability, ethical production methods, fair wages, and safe working conditions.
Katherine Bissell Cordova serves as Executive Director of Chicago Fair Trade. She has worked for over twenty years for human rights, immigrant rights, and worker rights organizations. Katherine opened a fair trade store, Greenheart Shop, in Chicago. Prior to that, Katherine served as the Executive Director of ARISE Chicago, an organization that partners with low-wage immigrant workers as they organize for improvements in the workplace. Katherine served as field director of GreenWood Alliance, opening their office in Honduras. She served as a member of Peace Brigades International in Guatemala, defending human rights activists. She prior to that, she worked at the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors for Torture. She is the recipient of Casa Guatemala’s Human Rights Award and is fluent in Spanish.
Katherine lives in Chicago with her two children, Sofia, a budding artist, and Mateo who is showing telltale signs of being a future organizer.
About Crop to Cup Coffee Importers and Jake Elster:
Every coffee has a story to tell. It starts with the farmer, who translates wind and rain, soil and sun, into a sensational array of sugars and acidity, body and balance. And it continues from the crop to the cup, engaging and celebrating every actor in between. At Crop to Cup Coffee Importers, we complete the story by carrying it back to the farm in the form of pride and recognition, learning and improvement. And the cycle continues year after year, with the power to energize your menu, educate your staff and engage your customers.
A farmer direct importer and wholesaler, Crop to Cup Coffee Co. works to connect coffee farmers with coffee lovers. By focusing on the traceability of coffee and the empowerment of small farmers and consumers, Crop to Cup supplies coffee beans that taste and feel good.
In 2005 Jake Elster was working with Uganda's last remaining Farmer's Cooperative to register farmer groups, standardize payments and reopen washing stations which had been closed since the 1940s. This resulted in traceable, specialty grade coffees, but not higher incomes for farmers. And so in 2006 Jake founded a specialty exporter to contract coffees directly from the farm, connecting them to overseas markets. But without customers, this too failed to create desired impact at the farm.
And so in 2007 Jake returned to the US to begin Crop to Cup Coffee Importers, which had a unique claim at the time that 'this coffee came from these farmers'. Over the following 9 years Crop to Cup has grown to work in 10 countries across Africa and Asia, connecting them to coffee roasters across the United States. Each community is different, but what remains the same is a commitment to building the human capacity needed to thrive through coffee. Now Jake's job is to find and develop new suppliers, a job which makes use of his experience and education in Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis and a MS in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern University.
Description of Fair Trade Vendors
Every purchase helps provide life's essentials through a 5X JOB. As consumers in a global economy, our purchases play a vital role in the lives of those who make the things we enjoy. The CAUSEGEAR brand was established to provide an opportunity to make a sustainable difference for those who make our fashion.
Today 2.8 billion people live in poverty.* When jobs don’t provide for life’s essentials, many end up in slavery. The CAUSEGEAR 5X JOBS Model is a sustainable alternative to hand-outs, and a dignified pathway out of poverty. The income provides for the crafter and 3 that depend on them. A self-reliant pathway begins to change the legacies left behind.
Every item is meticulously handcrafted, with the FACETAG of one of the crafters who made your gear. Read their stories.
When 25% of the US shifts $65 in fashion purchases in one year to 5X brands, one million lives will be transformed for justice.**
Designed in Chicago and handcrafted in India, CAUSEGEAR’s mission is to transform the lives of one million people trapped in unfathomable poverty & injustice to become self-sustaining. CAUSEGEAR is an L3C social enterprise with 90% of profits benefiting crafters.
* According to The Global Slavery Index. **80 million (25% of U.S.) x $65 = enough to provide for 250,000 crafters + 3 others.
Heshima Kenya is the first organization of its kind, with a holistic model of care that is devoted to protecting unaccompanied and separated youth between the ages of 13 to 23 from Somalia, Ethiopia, DR Congo, Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi. Since our founding in 2008, we have served thousands of women, girls, children and infants, offering the gold-standard of care, protection and empowerment for refugees. We provide safety and shelter for our most vulnerable participants, deliver a multi-disciplinary education program for students of diverse levels as well as childcare for the mothers in our programs, support economic empowerment through our vocational social enterprise, accompany our participants to legal and medical appointments, and work within refugee community in Kenya to identify, protect and fight for the rights of the most vulnerable.
Heshima Kenya’s social enterprise, The Maisha Collective, fosters leadership and business management skills through the design and production of unique, hand-dyed fabrics and textiles. Our participants gain life-long entrepreneurial business and marketing skills that develop their confidence and prepare them for future independence.
We travel personally to Africa to create and buy handmade goods such as wallets, knitted items, key chains, bags, shoes, and antiques. Our animal originated items come from 100% real African leather, fur, snakeskin, camel bone, shark, and rabbit. You will receive only the finest African goods at Zizzleboutique.com
At Greenheart Shop, we do business a little bit differently. We are proud to be Chicago’s premiere non-profit, fair trade shop. We go out of our way to source products and curate a collection that does as little harm as possible - to people, communities, and the environment. All of the products we sell are fair trade, eco-friendly, or carry a social mission. They are made by skilled artisans from as far away as Tunisia and as close to home as North Lawndale. Each product carries a story, of the artisan who lovingly made it, the community where the materials originated, or the centuries-old methods used to produce it. We invite you to browse our site or stop in to our shop in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood, and learn more about the story behind each product we carry.
Greenheart Shop is a branch of Greenheart International, a Chicago-based organization that connects people and planet to create global leaders through personal development, volunteer service, environmentalism, fair trade, and cultural exchange. See below and learn how the Greenheart Shop contributed last year with Greenheart International in making the world a better place.