From Soil to City

Irving Farm is a roaster of specialty coffees with cafes located all over New York City! We love their commitment to transparency, sustainability, and maintaining direct relationships with farmers. The coffee is great and the people are even better which is why we’ve partnered with them to bring our Local Roots NYC subscription based produce markets to the UES, UWS, LES, and Gramercy with pick up at one of their cafes. 

Find out more about why we love them – place orders here for our winter harvest season!

1. What is Irving’s role in a healthy food system – how do you exhibit this in your products, work culture, farm relationships?

At Irving Farm, our coffee buying practices are centered around building lasting, sustainable relationships with farmers around the world. Our green coffee buyer Dan Streetman takes a personal and individual approach to each relationship he forges with farmers and co-ops. One of our most important purchasing principles is making sure that all transfer of value is fair and linear; and because the nature of the supply chain and the sophistication of production varies wildly from country to country, a nuanced approach to buying green coffee is necessary to ensure transparency. With all of our coffees we aim to go above and beyond the “direct trade” certification.

We’re a pretty unique company in that we regularly take employees on origin trips. We believe that actually seeing where our coffee is grown and meeting the people involved in its production is vitally important. Relationships are at the core of our company, up and down the chain. Origin trips also give IFCR employees a deeper understanding of our roles within the coffee industry and the specialty coffee industry as a whole.

In our retail cafés, we sell products (such as chocolate, pastries, and juice) made by companies who share our values and commitment to quality. With our soon-to-be-expanded food program, we prioritize using fresh, seasonal ingredients that are local and organic whenever possible.

2. What is Irving’s vision for a healthy food system?

The food chain must be mutually beneficial for all involved to foster a healthy system. A commitment to transparency with both producers and consumers and environmental sustainability helps accomplish that.

3. Why is it important for Irving to share their home with Local Roots NYC?

We’re proud to partner with another New York company that shares our core values: namely, maintaining relationships built on mutual respect, education, sustainability, and nourishing local economies.

4. What are main issues that the coffee industry currently faces in regards to transparency, sustainability, etc and how are ways you are addressing these topics?

While the specialty coffee industry has led to improved quality of coffee overall, for us it is imperative that everyone share in these benefits and that we all work together towards a sustainable supply chain. We try to focus on working with smaller farms where they are owner-operated, meaning that much of the work is done by the family. Coffees like: Capucas, Lirios, Platanares, Konga, La Prosperidad, Los Alisos, Monserrate, Diego Casso, Willer Rivera, Luis Rivera, etc, all have this model. On visits to the farms, we try to visit worker housing (if it is present), we visit the field while workers are picking, and we seek to understand how, when and how much workers get paid. We also discuss with producers in detail how the price we pay is related to these factors.

This winter from January – March, we’ll be at these Irving Farm locations:
TUESDAYS
UWS (224 W. 79th St) – 4:30pm – 6:30pm
UES (1424 3rd Ave) – 4:30pm – 6:30pm  

WEDNESDAYS
LES (88 Orchard St) – 5pm – 7pm
Union Square (71 Irving Place) – 5pm – 7pm

Place orders here by December 18th – orders placed after this date will incur a late fee.

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