Named Best Independent Coffee Shop in Iowa by 24/7 Wall St. (2020)
We believe our coffee is moderately acceptable, and humbly invite you to experience our vision of what coffee can be!
Morning Bell Coffee Roasters is an independent, family-owned and family-operated small business. The goal of social and environmental sustainability is central to what we do. We are certified by Fair Trade USA, and we support their mission to enhance the environmental and social well being of farmers all over the world. 100% paper packaging for roasted coffee is our standard. We feel like it is extremely important to limit our use of plastics. The coffee bags we use are easily compostable and reusable. All of the organic wastes from our shop and roasting operations are composted by Mustard Seed Farm, just outside Ames. Wholesale orders are delivered in clean, reused cardboard boxes.
Our green coffees come from all over the world, and from many different types of organizations. Our focus is on buying coffees we love, and that we think are delicious. We are proud to buy FTO coffees (Fair Trade and Organic certified), and Fair Trade Certified coffees. All our FTO coffees are marked as Fair Trade Certified only, since we don’t maintain an organic certification as an organization.
We are proud to maintain long-term family-direct connections with two coffee farms that are close to our hearts.
We’ve been buying from Selva Negra in Matagalpa, Nicaragua since 2011, when we started our first roastery in Gainesville, FL. We got to visit the farm in 2013, which was a truly special trip for our family. Selva Negra is a model sustainable farm in so many ways, and they maintain a host of certifications, including Organic, Rainforest Alliance and Smithsonian Birdfriendly.
A more recent relationship has been solidified with Jose Maria Oliviera and his family in Campos Altos, Cerrado Miniero, Minas Gerais Brazil. We’ve been buying from the Oliviera family since 2017, and they keep inviting us down to visit the farm – we’ll get there one of these years! They maintain Rainforest Alliance certification, and are involved with all sorts of community development projects in their community. Several of the microlots we’ve bought from them over the years direct extra profits to women who work on their farm, in a program they call “Para Ella”.
We really strive to do everything we can to operate our shop and roastery in an environmentally sensitive way. We are proud to maintain Platinum-level certification with the City of Ames Smart Business Challenge. This is a picture of Nadav receiving our award from Ames Mayor John Haila in 2019.
Beyond our Fair Trade Certification, compostable packaging and green coffee purchasing and composting, there are all sorts of smaller efforts that are important to our certification. Our bathroom lights/fans are on motion sensors, and we use electric hand dryers. We handwash dishes to limit water use. We are very careful about our energy use for temperature control. We make our own cleaning supplies using dish soap and vinegar as the main ingredients, along with occasional use of bleach solution and cafiza.
We donate gift cards to EVERY local organization that asks for a donation. This adds up to thousands of dollars yearly that go to support our local non-profits. We are really proud to be able to always say yes to any local donation requests, its one of the ways we support the Ames community.