Capitol Grounds

View from State Street

View from State Street

Purchasing a cup of coffee from Capitol Grounds (CG) would be a wise choice. Montpelier’s downtown coffee shop and roastery is not only opening up people’s eyes with their coffee, but with the opportunities to consume caffeine a little more responsibly. The beans are locally roasted in East Montpelier. Most of them having been shade grown with bird friendly or organic certifications, which means the beans were grown in naturally rich soils on farms that do not clear cut their trees to maximize the amount of coffee that could be grown which then requires tons of fertilizers and pesticides, rapidly depletes soil nutrients, and eliminates habitat for thousands of species.

I sat down with manager Julia Watson who told me CG is actually a family run business. It was her father Bob Watson and friend Bob Plante who started the coffee shop in 1998.

Behind us sipping her coffee was Elizabeth Wilcox, a Montpelier resident who had purchased a cup of fair trade coffee. She admitted that she was not the most eco-conscious person, but when it came to coffee a couple more cents to drink responsibly is the least she could do, and she’s happy to do it.

Elizabeth and her Fair Trade French Roast

–Right next to Capitol Grounds is a branch of the Nature Conservancy. I quickly ran upstairs to inquire as to what the environmental non-profit is doing in the office to walk to the walk. I am happy to inform everyone that all work stations have green strips, which go a little further than allowing one to switch everything off at once. If the computer is shut down, it turns everything off that might have been forgotten to be switched off. The office recycles like mad, prints their newsletter on paper definitely not from the rain forest, uses post consumer paper in printers, and works with a local nursery to plant native species in the area. About 7,000 Vermonters are members of the organization–


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June 2009
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