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One-on-One with Todd Rippo


Java owner Todd Rippo proudly serves fair trade coffee at his shop. We sat down together recently, and while he talked I indulged in a Bowl of Soul.

Why does Java sell fair trade coffee?

It's important to me. As creatures that are walking this earth together, we all have an opportunity in a small way or a larger way to do what we can. One thing I can do is buy fair trade products of the quality we expect-high-grade beans-and pay extra, but know the money will help build infrastructure in the regions that grow our product. Our product doesn't come from Eagle, Idaho. It comes from Mexico, Africa, and Guatemala. If they have schools and clinics in their villages, and happy families and a productive society, they will produce a product that I buy and desire. In my opinion, it's a win-win.

Do customers ask for fair trade coffee and foods?

We sell fair trade coffee everyday. At this point, the customers expect it of us. They're used to it, and we've adopted it and have held that line. I met the woman who runs the outfit here in Boise in Ketchum. She walked in because she saw a sign on the door that said, "We serve fair trade." She started to work for us, and it all started because of a sticker on the door. We take Fair Trade seriously.

Do you charge more for a fair trade cup of coffee than a regular Joe?

Absolutely not. No, no. no. It's the same price.