Café Victoria owner Luciana Gómez said she started looking into ways to recycle their coffee grounds as soon as she opened her coffee shop in January. Courtesy of Gómez.
July 19, 2016
A Dallas coffee shop in the Victory Park neighborhood is keeping it green while helping a local nonprofit. Café Victoria began recycling coffee grounds in April soon after the venue opened near the American Airlines Center. The coffee grounds will be used by a Dallas-based nonprofit Divinekinship as compost to grow and provide food for the local community.
“I have good friends that do their own compost at home and that inspired me to look into the benefits of coffee grounds,” said Luciana Gómez, owner of Café Victoria.
Gómez says she researched the benefits of using coffee grounds in compost and learned they provide generous amounts of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and copper and also release nitrogen as it decays.
“Coffee compost is amazing. It’s super rich,” said Gómez.
Photo courtesy of GroundToGround.org.
She said as soon as she opened, she started looking into a way to leverage the coffee waste.
“I reached out to the city of Dallas and they connected me with Divinekinship. As I read about their organization, I knew they were the right partners for me. And they jumped on this right away.”
Divinekinship Inc. is an organization that fights for social justice and the elimination of poverty through community projects and campaigns and promotes sustainability to help improve the health and well being of the community at large.
Jesse Ferguson, CEO of Divinekinship Inc., said in a press release: "Community Involvement is key to our mission to eliminate food deserts in the southern sectors of Dallas County. This partnership with Café Victoria allows Divinekinship to increase our composting efforts by utilizing the nitrogen provided by the decomposing coffee grounds. This collaboration between Café Victoria and Divinekinship also serves as a great example for our students in our upcoming social entrepreneur classes on how to incorporate local free resources into their agricultural projects."
Café Victoria goes through about 40 pounds of coffee each week. The grounds, which are picked up weekly, supplement the nonprofit's natural farming techniques such as permaculture gardening on rocky/clay soil.
“Divinekinship utilizes the natural properties of the coffee grounds to aid soil amendment at their Duncanville location and in keeping with their mission to eliminate food deserts in the Southern Sectors, recycles our coffee grounds on a weekly basis to aid in making great healthy soil for healthy plants and eventually healthy people and healthy communities,” says Gómez.
Gómez advises other shops follow her lead but admitted it took a few months to begin the recycling efforts.
“It took me some time to get the right approvals even though I have to say everybody was very supportive of the initiative from the get-go. I had to find the right place for the waste in the building and set up the logistics. But it was a fairly streamlined process, which is why I hope other coffee shops follow this initiative,” she explains.
In her daily life, Gómez says she tries to be eco-friendly too. She recycles everything she can, uses biodegradable materials and tries to avoid waste.
“In my shop, we built everything according to the green code of Dallas,” she concludes. “We also use supplies that are eco-friendly and biodegradable when available.”