Peace Coffee Closing Coffee Shops to Focus on Wholesale
With wholesale coffee bean sales soaring as more people caffeinate at home due to Covid-19, fair trade roaster Peace Coffee has decided to exit the coffee shop business, closing its three Minneapolis stores. But the flagship location in Longfellow will carry on the company’s socially conscious mission.
Wildflyer Coffee, a nonprofit dedicated to providing jobs to homeless youth, is taking over Peace Coffee’s Wonderland Park shop at 3262 Minnehaha Avenue. Wildflyer will assume the lease, but Peace Coffee is leaving all of its equipment and will provide training and ongoing support.
“It feels like the next evolution of our mission,” Peace Coffee CEO Lee Wallace said in a recent interview with TCB. Established in 1996, Peace Coffee’s longtime motto is “In It For Good.” Peace is a Certified B Corp. that roasts small batch organic and fair-trade coffee. Its beans are sold in grocery stores primarily in the Midwest.
“Our core business is really wholesale,” Wallace said, “so we’re moving into partnerships like this.”
The Longfellow shop will be a first permanent location for Wildflyer, which until now has sold coffee at farmer’s markets and pop-up events. The shop will employ at least 20 young people each year with a focus on cultivating work and life skills and a path out of homelessness, Wildflyer’s executive director Carley Kammerer said in a statement. “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.”
Wildflyer plans to open in Longfellow in December. “We spent years weaving Peace Coffee into people’s lives at this location,” Wallace said. “So we are proud to give Wildflyer a built-in community in which to grow and prosper.”
Peace Coffee’s downtown locations in the AT&T Tower and Capella Tower closed in March and will not reopen.