Delicious (and sustainable) pick-me-ups are now available at Harbor Town Coffee thanks to mission coffee, fair trade coffee, and coffee with a cause.
If all those buzz words make your head spin, then just remember this: Your café mocha blanco from downtown's newest retailer wakes you up and saves the planet too.
"Our coffee not only tastes better, it supports the small growers who have almost a zero carbon footprint," says owner Glenn Roseberry. "These growers even recycle the skins that cover every coffee bean. They turn the skins into compost."
Roseberry is new to retail and the coffee trade, thanks to the persuasiveness of developer Gary Garland, who wanted a coffee shop for Harbor Town's last retail space, and the interests of his daughter, Elizabeth, who manages the store.
"We've pulled together a great group of young people who understand a lot more about the science and mystique behind coffee than I do," Roseberry admits with a smile.
For now, Roseberry has focused his energies on transforming the retail space across the street from Miss Cordelia's Grocery into a comfortable and chic coffee shop with all the trimmings: wi-fi, big-screen television, local art, and a scrumptious selection of cookies, pastries, and bread from downtown's Big Ono Bakery. "I'm at the bakery every morning at 6 o'clock waiting while Howard drizzles the icing on the cinnamon rolls," Roseberry says. "You can't get any fresher than that."
Harbor Town Coffee also sells chai, Odwalla juices, and Revolution teas, along with a long list of hot and cold coffee drinks, until 10:30 p.m. daily. Roseberry's next task is to source fresh Japanese teas, a fitting complement to the restaurant's outdoor koi pond and Japanese tea ceremony, scheduled for January.
Now back to the coffee mumbo-jumbo: Fair trade coffee guarantees growers $1.26 per pound, a price that ensures viability for their farms and decent wages for their workers; mission coffee also pumps money into hospitals and schools where coffee is grown; and coffee with a cause funnels some profits into worthy efforts, such as preserving the world's rain forests.
Harbor Town Coffee, 111 Harbor Town Square,
In Kobe, Japan, farmers massage their cattle with sake to relieve stress and stiff joints, believing that the calmest animals make the best meat.
In Collierville, customers at The Old Church Steakhouse can see if the techniques work because the restaurant's menu includes two authentic Kobe beef entrées: grilled prime tenderloin for $89 and sirloin steak for $49.
The hefty price tags for the luxury import reflect shipping costs and the careful growing of the meat, explains Michele D'Oto, owner and executive chef of the restaurant, which held its grand opening November 1st.
"The animals are fed with organic rice and beer," D'Oto explains. "The diet creates a very high marble on the meat, making it tender and giving it an earthy, buttery flavor."
D'Oto's menu also offers domestically grown steaks (porterhouse, strip, rib eye, filet mignon) and prime rib along with veal porterhouse, leg of lamb, venison, quail, and Cornish hen. The meats are grilled or roasted, and the price of entrées (from $26 to $38) includes roasted vegetables.
"We serve whatever vegetables are in season," says D'Oto, who relocated to Collierville from Biloxi, Mississippi, after Hurricane Katrina destroyed his home and business. "Right now, we are serving roasted potatoes, snow peas, and white asparagus."
Housed in a former Presbyterian church built about 1860, D'Oto's restaurant combines local history with elegant food prepared by chef Joe Flourie. "The town of Collierville has a lot of charm and history," says D'Oto, who also owns and operates Pasta Italia, located nearby on Collierville's town square. "I believe good restaurants will add to its appeal."
The Old Church Steakhouse,
111 Walnut, Collierville (338-4361)
If you shop at the Fresh Market before November 23rd and spend at least $50, be sure to retrieve your $5 "foodie bucks" before tossing your receipt. And then don't forget to go shopping again. The foodie bucks — rewarded for every $50 spent in the store — must be redeemed between November 24th and November 30th.
The new promotion hopes to pull in new shoppers and reward longtime ones.
"The holidays are a great time to have extra money in your pocket," says Lindsay Hancock, a marketing manager with the chain. "We think every little bit helps."
The Fresh Market, thefreshmarket.com,
835 S. White Station (682-3434);
9375 Poplar (737-5759)