Louis-Ad2-2 3/25/14 11:17 AM Page 1
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out, drinks Coffee Afficionado coffee at
home. “I thought, I’ll give him a chance.”
Set of Five
A chance was enough. For the first
three years, Bossie and Merces (who
lives in Sea Bright) didn’t take a salary.
They had launched in the teeth of the
recession, and “it was tight,” Bossie
says. (An early third partner got bought
out after a year.) They hired a tight
circle of young, single Jersey guys, including Bossie’s cousin and his cousin’s
best childhood chum.
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“The top-end coffee we’re getting
from these farms is light years ahead
of what any of these other importers
are bringing in,” he says, not shy about
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The company now wholesales 13
single-origin coffees, each grown on a
single farm, plus four blends. It roasted
295 Rt. 10 E. Succasunna, NJ 07876 973-584-2230 www.franswicker.com. .
295 Rt. 10 East, Succasunna, NJ 07876 • 973-584-2230 • franswicker.com
265,000 pounds in 2013 and 283,000 last
year and projects nearly 340,000 pounds
this year. (For context, the industry
website Daily Coffee News sets 100,000
pounds as the somewhat arbitrary border between micro and macro roasters.)
The politics of coffee can get complicated, however. Most growers are poor;
most specialty consumers are anything
but. Bossie dismisses Fair Trade certification—by two nonprofits that audit
international transactions to ensure
decent wages, working conditions and
environmental practices—as well-intentioned but ineffectual. Farmers pay to
be certified and often band together in
cooperatives to share the cost.
Pedro Echavarria concurs with Bossie
about Fair Trade. His family’s holdings
in Antoquia, in central Colombia, include
the 80-acre farm La Suiza, which sells
its entire crop to Coffee Afficionado. “If
Sagri Frieber, ASID
I were getting those fair-trade prices, I
could barely make payroll,” he says. (He
does pay for Rainforest Alliance certification, which attests to sustainable agricultural methods.)
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325 Main Street
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The way Bossie works with farmers
is called “direct trade,” an admittedly
fuzzy term used by a number of specialty
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