Local Coffee show in Eagle benefits nonprofits.
By Kat Jahnigen
The next time you reach for your morning brew, you could get some extra satisfaction in addition to the usual caffeine buzz -- if it’s coffee sold for the charity roasting program recently launched by Dietrich’s Coffee, that is.
The Eagle-based coffee shop, restaurant and roaster is partnering up with various charities and nonprofit groups in the area to help raise money through the sale of private-label, custom coffee blends. One dollar from the sale of each bag of fundraising coffee goes to help its namesake organization, a list that currently includes Roundup River Ranch, Mountain Rescue, a local middle school and three churches.
“My wife and I, we’ve always enjoyed giving back to the community and volunteering,” says owner Chris Dietrich. “And we figured we can just write checks, but since we are a coffee roaster, and we’re making our own labels – we have the means to do that – it’s a way to kind of partner within the community. People buy coffee anyway, so they can give back to the community and support a local business – it’s a win-win all around.”
Still early in the process of getting the program fully underway, it’s been a whirlwind ride for Chris and Jodi Dietrich, the coffee shop’s husband-and-wife owners. They opened Dietrich’s in June, after a mere two weeks spent remodeling the space and transitioning from their jobs at “a big-box store,” which brought them to the area four years ago.
The restaurant sits on Chambers Road, east of Eby Creek Road. A sunlit assortment of café tables and chairs, with taller stools pushed up to the counters that line the windows, serve dine-in customers, while a drive-thru is available for those in a hurry. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving up uncommon benedicts, green chili breakfast burritos and satisfying sandwiches, in addition to a variety of coffee drinks and ice cream, plus Dietrich’s specialty: homemade chocolates and confections.
Despite the labor involved, says Chris Dietrich, it’s been fun.
“Coffee roasting is a blast,” he says. “You can have one coffee bean – one origin of coffee bean – and you can get 100 different flavors out of it, just depending on how fast you roast it and what temperature you bring it to. So there’s quite a bit to it. The challenge is narrowing it down to two or three blends or roasts.”
The Dietrichs only began coffee roasting in September and shortly thereafter conceived of the charity roasting idea, beginning with a cause very close to their hearts: Roundup River Ranch.
Roundup River Ranch, located in Gypsum, is a member of the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, a network of innovative programs, founded by Paul Newman, that provide life-changing experiences to children with serious medical conditions, always free of charge. It’s a great cause, to be certain, but of even greater value to the entrepreneurial family. The Dietrichs’ son had actually benefitted immensely from a personal experience as a camper there several years ago, and the family has been a loyal supporter ever since.
“From the donation of a metal sculpture that hangs over the fireplace in Trent’s Cookhouse, our dining hall, to serving as the camper representatives at events, the Dietrichs have continually expressed their gratitude and appreciation for their son’s experience at camp,” says Ruth Johnson, CEO of Roundup River Ranch.
“We hope this fundraiser will encourage greater awareness and financial support for Roundup River Ranch’s empowering camp programs offered to children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses and their families,” Johnson adds. “Participation in this fundraiser will allow purchasers to enjoy high-quality, hand-roasted coffee for a great cause. We look forward to the Roundup River Ranch Campfire Roast being served (by supporters of the organization) for many years to come.”
The Dietrichs, who live in Gypsum, hope to expand the program to aid at least 10 local charities and are actively recruiting participants, as well as simply benefitting from the positive word-of-mouth.
“Ones that I’m aware of, I call up and tell them what we’re doing, and the few that I’ve contacted so far have been excited about it and want to get involved,” says Chris Dietrich. “Really, all they have to do is provide me with a logo and come in here and decide what they want in coffee, what they want the label to look like. Different groups will buy a bulk purchase – you know, 50 bags or more, their cost goes down – and if they want to sell it at a fundraiser or something like that, they can easily make anywhere from $2.50 to $3.50 a bag doing it that route versus the dollar they get from us.”
Chris Dietrich has high hopes for the initiative, hoping that eventually every bag of coffee they sell in the shop will contribute a dollar to a nonprofit. And beyond that, he and his wife are determined to enjoy the ride of starting a new business.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he says. “It’s a good time. (We’re) still in the growing process, building it up. It’s going to take time.”