Like many other fine coffees, our beans are shade-grown, fair-traded, and certified organic. But there’s more to Café Oro than that.
When you buy our coffee, you directly support a wonderful cultural exchange between Bainbridge Island and Ometepe, our sister island in Nicaragua. You help fund a wide array of school, health and community programs important to people on Ometepe, and you help broaden the worldview of many people on Bainbridge.
How we got started
The Sister Islands Association got into the coffee business after a medical delegation from Bainbridge heard from farmers near Balgüe in 1988 that they had no market for their coffee and might lose land they had farmed since the revolution. So the delegates loaded their suitcases with 3,200 pounds of green coffee beans to bring back to Bainbridge. A trade embargo delayed the shipment, but it finally arrived in 1991. David Desinger, owner of Pegasus Coffee Shop on the island, agreed to roast the beans. The coffee caught on, as did the idea of providing a market for the cooperative and helping the members keep their land. After dozens of Bainbridge residents and others made small loans, the Sister Islands Association bought an entire year’s crop, and we were off and running with our unique coffee business.