As the manager of the in the Village on Kercheval, Vicky Valente knows her brews. She has also earned the trust and respect of her customers. So when she asks them to purchase specialty coffee beans called Amy's Blend, they listen.
First some background on Amy's Blend. This special mix of select Caribou beans is available only during the month of October at Carbou Coffee shops around the country. It is named after former Caribou roastmaster Amy Erikson, who succumbed to breast cancer years ago.
Now, during Breast Cancer Awareness month, Caribou offers not just Amy's Blend coffee beans, but teas and merchandise for purchase. Even better, 10 percent of all Amy's items is donated by Caribou to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, established to help fund reasearch to end breast cancer.
Last year Valente's Village customers purchased a total of 150 pounds of this premium coffee, priced at about $16 a pound. This year her goal is 250 pounds. But this year, reaching her goal means even more to her. That's because her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer about three weeks ago.
"I know we're going to reach 250 pounds," Valente said. "(On Oct. 7) we had Pink Friday. We sold a total of 63 pounds of Amy's Blend that day alone. We've already sold 150 pounds, so we're on our way to reaching 250."
To help accommodate those who don't drink coffee but still want to help, Valente has other options:
- Buy a pound of Amy's Blend and donate it to the Chest of Hope, located on the counter at the Village Caribou. All of this coffee will be donated to the for patients being treated there.
- Purchase Amy's merchandise such as a scarf, a coffee cup, a cool-drink cup or tea bags. Not only will this help fund research, but it will continue reminding you of how special you are for donating.
- Donate $1 into the jar near the counter, which will be used to purchase pounds of coffee for donation.
And if this isn't enough to entice patrons to purchase Amy's merchandise or coffee, Valente has added a community element. Each time you purchase a pound of Amy's Blend coffee, you can fill out a entry form to win a beautiful basket filled with local merchandise and gift cards.
"I wanted to do something to help out local businesses," said Valente, a resident of the City of Grosse Pointe. "So we created the Grosse Pointe Basket. It's filled with great items from Village Palm, , , , Trader Joes, and more."
October is certainly an eventful and meaningful time at Caribou Coffee. And while the Grosse Pointe Basket is exclusive to the Village store, the is also encouraging its patrons to stop in and buy a pound of Amy's Blend or any of the speciality items.
No matter where you make your purchase, 10 percent will go to help find the key to breast cancer--and a cure. That's a cup of coffee worth remembering.