Sustainability is not a marketing buzzword at the family-owned and operated West Chester coffee roaster Golden Valley Farms – it’s a way of life. For the past 25 years, John Sacharok, the man instrumental in building Wawa’s coffee program-and his partner, and sister Maryann Baldassarre have provided early risers with an eco-friendly alternative to big coffee companies.
“Even down to your coffee, you can choose to help in a positive way. Just this cup of coffee and where it comes from is helping the people of Peru have a better environment,” said Maryann, who serves as Golden Valley Farms President.
Golden Valley Farms carries 15-18 varieties of coffees and 7 flavors of loose leaf and bagged organic teas; whether you are looking for whole beans or grounds, regular or decaf using the Swiss Water Process (using water to pull the caffeine not chemicals), a smooth, mellow, and medium roast coffee like their popular Breakfast Blend or their newest bold-flavored Wild Tiger Blend, they offer something for everyone. Every coffee bean that enters through their doors is USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified.
All of their coffees are slow roasted at their home base at 208 Carter Drive, Suite 13B, in West Chester. To ensure freshness, coffee is only roasted to order and shipped out the door within a few days of roasting. Golden Valley Farms will roast specific beans separately, for however long it takes to bring out all of the flavor profiles, and then blend.
“Some of your larger coffee roasters will flash roast, which means they do it quickly,” explained Maryann. Some coffee beans from different areas are different sizes. It would be like having two different sized steaks and cooking them the exact same way. One might be well done, but the other may not be.”
While searching for the best coffees from around the world, John discovered the Smithsonian Institute’s Migratory Bird Center‘s 100%-organic shade grown certification, and they’ve been carrying bird-friendly coffees from day one. The Migratory Bird Center noticed a decline in migrating birds’ population, because their natural habitats were being cut down to make way for coffee farms.
Traditional coffee farms utilize sun farm methods, where they clear cut forests to plant rows of hundreds of coffee plants, producing a higher yield of coffee with a washed out flavor profile. Shade grown methods allow the coffee bushes to develop slower by growing under a tree canopy, developing a richer taste. The certification was created to preserve their habitat and reward the farmers who practice organic and shade grown methods.
Three years ago, Golden Valley Farms expanded their business beyond their wholesale, private label, hot beverage program, and food service – they are now selling coffee directly to local consumers. Their coffee can be purchased online, in Whole Foods Devon and Glen Mills, West Chester Growers Market, Thornbury Farmer’s Market, Lansdowne Farmers Market, Oakmont Farmers Market, East Goshen’s Farmers’ Market and Ridley Park Farmers Market. To tantalize your senses, view their weekly tasting schedule on Facebook or schedule a tour of their facility.