While Madigosky leads Widener students through experiential
learning exercises in Costa Rica, John Sacharok '80 and Frank Baldassarre '95,
two Widener alumni, are leading the way in the production of organic,
sustainable coffee from Golden Valley Farms Coffee Roasters, their coffee-roasting facility
in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Sacharok and Baldassarre, already importing the
coffee beans from Las Lajas, offered to produce WU Brew for Widener and
donate a portion from every bag sold. Proceeds from WU Brew help to pay farmers
a living wage and encourages them to produce coffee in an
A rather unique combination of brains, brawn, and beans, WU Brew
is an innovative effort in leadership that brings two metropolitan communities
together, in a spirit of mutual cooperation, to engage in the sustainable
agricultural movement on a global scale. Buy a Bag of WUBrew!
WU Brew: Earth Friendly Coffee from Cultivation to Cup “Your Choices Have an Impact”
Purchasing WU Brew coffee supports Widener University student
service projects that help produce organic, sustainable coffee grown in Las
Lajas, Costa Rica. Widener students and faculty work closely with rural Costa
Rican farmers to ensure that coffee grows organically under
the canopy of shade trees, preserving and restoring natural habitats.
Students in environmental science courses travel to Costa Rica to conduct research on a variety of farming practices and assess the quality of coffee grown under rigorous laboratory conditions. This work documents how the procedures employed in the field produce agricultural products that are of superior quality with a rich taste from sun-dried, honey-processed beans.
Students provide a valuable service to the farmers – not only by
conducting research – but also assisting in the actual coffee harvesting
process. This partnership has a positive effect on coffee production and helps students become more globally
aware of the impact of their purchasing
and consumption decisions.
In addition, proceeds from WU Brew help to pay the farmers a
generous living wage and encourages them to produce coffee in an
environmentally friendly manner. The rate paid to farmers, in fact,
exceeds the amount required for fair trade certifications. This helps to
maintain a pristine environment where a greater degree of plants and animals
can flourish, unlike that of a conventional coffee farm.