Within the past decade, North Tahoe has become home to four separate coffee entrepreneurs. In the post-Starbucks era, younger generations have transformed into the “coffee-shop generation” with more and more people seeking out unique, single-origin coffee to boost their morning rather than the sugary lattes of coffee-shop chains.
On a journey to dominate their niche in a fast-growing industry, four local roasters opened up to Moonshine about their journey to becoming independent roasters as well as their goals for future growth.
Gale Klenk, former professional alpine ski racer and coach of 25 years, knows her mechanic by name and makes sure he leaves her business with a bag of beans to take home for his family. She cares about local, in terms of supporting both Tahoe businesses and the people growing her coffee beans.
Because of this, Gale recently got involved with Café Femenino, a nonprofit with a mission to empower women in Third World countries by giving them financial stability. She explained that when women are able to be financially stable, 90% of their income is invested back into their community in some way, be it education, health, or nutrition for themselves and their families.
Gale was originally part of Sierra Pacific Coffee, now an umbrella company to the new, smaller Twisted Trees line — still supported by the larger brand — which is all fair trade, organic, sustainable, and dedicated to furthering women in the workforce in Third World countries. “This isn’t just about empowering women, which is incredibly important, this is about really good coffee. I mean it’s wicked good, and these women are badasses,” Gale told Moonshine.
Twisted Trees is a wholesale coffee roaster, meaning they don’t have a brick and mortar store front, but the coffee supporting their mission is sold at Z Market in Tahoe Donner, Tahoe Food Hub, Zuri Coffee, and 19 Nugget Markets.
“The mission of Twisted Tree is to support women farmers at all levels who really grow great coffee beans, Gale said. “I want to spread their missions to others in our area, outside the area, who can really get behind paying that little bit more for fair trade, organic, quality, specialty coffees. In our area, we’re conscious people; we care about the environment, we care about mankind, and I just would love to see people get behind this model.”
Read the whole write up here to learn more about our local coffee roasting community: https://www.moonshineink.com/tahoe-news/the-daily-grind/