Foreign money Espresso founder and co-owner George Shoemaker (left) and co-owner David O’Neill. Photograph courtesy Schumacher Middle for a New Economics
DALTON — Currency Coffee Company follows the cash. That’s, its espresso, tea, and chocolate merchandise are stocked in shops throughout the nation wherever a Federal Reserve Financial institution is positioned. That is no accident, it’s by design, says proprietor and founder George Shoemaker. “We’re following a confirmed mannequin.” Based in The Stationery Factory in Dalton, they had been impressed by the Crane Currency firm. Foreign money paper leaves the Crane manufacturing facility in Dalton and finally finally ends up at a Federal Reserve Financial institution. Why shouldn’t one other Berkshire product comply with the identical path?
For every forex aspect Foreign money Espresso desires to print on their packaging — photos, fonts, phrases — they require prior authorization from entities just like the U.S. Treasury, The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, The Federal Reserve, and American Banknote Firm, to call a number of. On their signature Justice Mix espresso, they function an image of Woman Justice from a 1880 $50 gold certificates. For his or her single origin coffees, they show currencies from the espresso beans’ corresponding nation of origin: Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ethiopia, and others.
With a background in meals service, Shoemaker leveraged his 25+ years of experience to launch an organization promoting and consulting on espresso, gear, and set up. In 2017, he introduced on enterprise companion David O’Neill. Shoemaker stated he took O’Neill, a retired toy business govt with 35 years of expertise, “off the golf course and out of retirement.” Their abilities stability one another — Shoemaker on the technical facet and O’Neill on the enterprise facet. Shoemaker’s spouse Brenda can be a key companion and, as an educator, has helped body a brand new accredited espresso course at Berkshire Community College — the primary within the nation!
The espresso course isn’t the one approach Foreign money Espresso provides again to the group. On the onset of the pandemic, simply after they signed a long-term lease for his or her new area in Pittsfield’s Allendale Purchasing Middle and concurrently misplaced 80% of their prospects, Shoemaker, the O’Neills, and their group thought lengthy and exhausting about the way forward for the enterprise. They determined to launch the Give One, Give One initiative, by way of which prospects may purchase a field of espresso to donate to a frontline employee or group of their alternative. Foreign money Espresso would donate a second field to a different group. From there, they began delivering espresso on to shoppers, expanded their presence at Huge Y Supermarkets throughout the area, and eventually, opened their espresso lounge within the Allendale Underground. Shoemaker mirrored on the innovation that emerged from this troublesome time: “COVID wasn’t an issue, it was a problem. It gave us the chance to look at our programs and I feel we got here out of it a stronger firm.”
The choice to just accept BerkShares was a given. “After all Foreign money Espresso would settle for our area’s native forex,” Shoemaker stated, however the rationale goes deeper. Foreign money Espresso’s motto is “Worth for Worth.” That describes a really primary relationship concerning the procurement of products and providers, however may also be seen as concerning their group values, as cash is greater than only a medium of trade, a retailer of worth, or a unit of account. “Being a part of the BerkShares program helps us anchor ourselves locally.” He continued, “We wish to assist make this work between individuals, and never only for transactions.”