Voyager Craft Coffee: Charting a greener course


Source: Voyager Craft Coffee Instagram

As businesses pledge to combat climate change, Voyager Craft Coffee has launched several green initiatives, including donating leftover food and giving out used coffee grounds for compost.

The business donates its leftover food to Casa de Novo, a temporary housing unit for the homeless, and Feed the Block, a non-profit dedicated to feeding the community and homeless population.

“Our Alameda (location) is very close to where that housing unit is,” said Katie Blumen, the community lead at Voyager. “We had been looking for places that would take our donations for quite a while.”

Sameer “Sam” Shah, co-owner of Voyager Craft Coffee, said it donates 200 to 300 pastries and sandwiches and 75 cups of coffee each week.

“It just takes the effort and resources to make it happen,” Shah said. “We purposely have structured our day-to-day operations to allow for these things to occur.”

At Voyager’s Stevens Creek location, customers can pick up Spade and Plow Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription boxes, which deliver local hand-harvested food to support local farmers.

“The pickup for the CSA boxes, that’s great,” said Shah. “That of course does have a direct impact because (customers) leave with something tangible.”

Voyager’s used coffee grounds initiative has not enjoyed similar popularity.
“(Cutting down on food waste) is not a thing we essentially put on the menu as an item a customer can purchase,” Shah said. “So, there isn’t always active attention that falls on that topic.”

Gardeners, who use the compost, also don’t require as many coffee grounds.

“You probably only need one of those buckets for your entire compost pile for like a year,” Blumen said. “So there just hasn’t been as much demand as we had hoped for.”

Despite low demand, Shah said the team feels proud and happy to pursue sustainability.

“I’ve always been working in coffee shops that really promote sustainability and I think the way that we do it here really reinforces the value that I already have in those things,” said Paola Zavala, a barista at Voyager. “I’m super stoked to be working with Sam and Katie.”

There’s also an ongoing conversation on how to accomplish their mission better, Blumen added.

“We are always trying to reach beyond what we’re doing now,” Blumen said. “And towards something better.”