Obviously, the Seattle area is known for great coffee. And one of our favorites is on our Big Board Buys this week – Tony’s Fair-Trade Coffee. Not only is it just $7.98 lb. through Oct. 8 — a savings of more than $3 lb. — but they have a great Northwest success story, too.
“They’re so customer-centered and passionate about their local communities that they really stand out as one of my favorites,” said Nita Wills, our Bulk Foods manager.
“Plus, they don’t warehouse their beans, meaning every bag is full of fresh-roasted beans.”
In 1971, in a street-level coffeehouse inside Bellingham’s Terminal Building in historic Fairhaven, the original founder of Tony’s Coffee began roasting the first small batches of coffee and espresso from the best beans they could find. They kept clear, glass jars filled with directly sourced beans from all over the world — from Ethiopia to the Caribbean. As one of the first to bring locally roasted coffee to Bellingham, Tony’s Coffee quickly established itself as a cultural staple in town.
Fast forward 40 years, and it has outgrown the original coffeehouse. But its home in Fairhaven remains, along with that same passion to create. People love to get together for a great cup of coffee, and Tony’s has grown together with the town to form a thriving Northwest community of coffee lovers.
Not a day goes by that Tony’s Coffee and the crew of about 30 coffee fanatics aren’t looking for new roasting ideas. They regularly attend Roasters Guild workshops, studying topics ranging from thermodynamics to sensory triangulation. And every year they travel to meet with farmers and taste improvements in cup quality.
These relationships help broaden their understanding and appreciation for all that goes into making a great cup of coffee. We currently carry nine blends, including Café Carmelita, Backcountry Blend and Espresso Noir. But we’re probably the most excited about our own custom-made blend. When Tony’s Coffee approached us in 2018 to develop a unique, medium-roast coffee just for T&C, their idea just felt right, like holding a mug of hot coffee on a chilly morning.
“The MiddleField Blend wasn’t about self-promotion. They truly wanted to be of service to our company,” says Nita. “Much like T&C and the Puget Sound, Tony’s is deeply rooted in their own Bellingham community. We really connected with that.”
That’s why we’re proud to feature MiddleField Blend and its delicious hints of vanilla, chocolate and hazelnut. It’s named after the farm on the original Nakata family property on Bainbridge Island that the company now owns (the Nakata and Loverich families founded T&C Markets on Bainbridge Island in 1957). Look for it in Bulk Foods or bagged on our shelves!
Of course, this Big Board deal also involves Equal Exchange’s fair-trade beans in Bulk Foods, too. We love these longtime partners, as well. But that’s for another day, another post.
Time for an Amazing Turkey Sandwich!
One more quick shout-out to our Big Board Buys and the good folks in the Deli for making it incredibly easy to make a stellar turkey sandwich. This might seem like a trivial culinary endeavor but don’t tell that to my partner, Anna.
If I was standing next to a juicy turkey sandy with Lay’s Potato Chips while my hair was on fire, she’d reach right past the fire extinguisher to get her hands on that sandwich.
With Our Own Roast Turkey Breast, Castello Havarti cheese and organic Pain du George from Essential Baking Co. on Big Board this week, you’ve got everything you need to make your next lunch the envy of your co-workers. Plus, you’ll save nearly $14 lb. combined on the turkey and cheese alone!
Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.
Marieke Penterman’s Foenegreek: Usually spelled “Fenugreek” in English, this Gouda was one of the first cheeses Marieke made, with spices imported from her homeland in The Netherlands. This Gouda won gold in the 2007 US World Cheese Championship, the first of its many golds in international competitions.
This young, creamy Gouda has the slight nuttiness of traditional Dutch Gouda, but as you let the cheese melt slowly in your mouth, you get a hint of maple and think about breakfast. Then, as you begin to chew, you might start dreaming of Indian food for dinner since this is a classic spice used in many curries.
Whatever you dream about next, it will most assuredly involve cutting into your next wedge of Marieke Gouda.
Chris Allen is a copywriter and assistant marketer with Town & Country Markets. He’s a former contributing editor, radio anchor and producer, and an Air Force veteran. He’s also mastered the art of chopping red onions with one hand while sipping a dry Tempranillo in the other.