Our mission is to use specialty coffee as a vehicle for positive change.
When Dean Cycon started Dean's Beans in 1993, he set out to prove that a for-profit business could create meaningful change through ethical business practices rooted in respect for the earth, the farmer, our co-workers and the consumer.
We brew great coffee and create real change through:
- Long Term Relationships
- Shade-grown and Bird Friendly Coffee
- Direct Farm-to-Roaster Trading
- Solar-Powered Roasting Facility
- People-Centered Development Programs
- Organic Certification
Our commitment to purchase only shade-grown coffees supports healthy environments for coffee growers and protects critical migratory bird habitat. Shade-grown coffee retains the natural flora around and over the coffee plants, providing needed shade, nourishment and erosion control necessary for a healthy environment. Shade-grown coffees also provide critical habitat for migratory songbirds and other species from our own backyards that winter in coffee lands, such as Baltimore Orioles and Bluebirds, and Monarch butterflies. In addition, the inter-planting of fruit trees provides important nutrition and supplemental income to the families of the farmers. A few of our coop partners have taken it a step further to get officially certified by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center as Bird Friendly® Certified Coffee, and we are partnering with others to obtain the certification wherever possible. Read more here.
Each year we talk to the farm coops and agree on a price for a container of coffee. Typically, farmers send their coffee to a mill for processing, packaging and exporting, and pay the associated costs. All of the coops we work with have invested Fair Trade premiums to create their own in-house capacity to perform those functions. Therefore, money stays with the farmers instead of going to millers and exporters. Our farmers process the coffee, grade, mill, bag and export directly to us. That means the last person to see the coffee in its home country is the farmer who carried the bag into the container and put a lock on the door. The next person to see the coffee is at Dean’s Beans, when we receive and open the container. That’s REAL direct trade!
Back in 2006, Dean’s Beans was one of the first companies in Massachusetts to install solar panels, and encourage all other companies to make similar long-term investments in renewable energies to support environmental stewardship and energy independence. For years, solar made up almost 65% of our total electricity usage. Now, after a second big installation in 2019, we're offsetting up to 79% of our fossil fuel electricity with our solar arrays!
People-Centered Development is an approach to international development that focuses on the real needs of local communities for the necessities of life (clean water, health care, income generation) that are often disrupted by conventional development assistance. There have been too many instances where once the aid agency moves on, the project collapses and the people sink into greater poverty and despair. No thanks! We are committed to small, meaningful projects that the community actually wants, and that are sustainable over time without our continued involvement. At the end of the day, the incredible amount of empowerment experienced by the farming communities and individuals we work with is our greatest achievement.
It is important to understand that we don’t just do a project here or a project there - this isn’t charity. We engage with every coop we work with; it is an integral and fundamental part of our business and our relationship with all of our grower partners. This is why our model is so radical, and why even after more than two decades in the biz we are still the only company that does this.
To us, organic is more than just a popular commodity, it is a commitment to a philosophy about respect for the earth, the farmer, our co-workers and the consumer. Most people who roast organics also roast conventional coffees in the same machines, using the same equipment indiscriminately. We believe that the integrity of the organic process requires a greater commitment on our part.We have gone the next step to be certified as an organic processor by Bay State Organic Certifiers, one of the leading international organic certifying agencies.