Tucked away in the cozy confines of a northwest neighborhood in Fort Collins, Colorado, is a remarkably progressive coffee enclave called The Fox Den No Waste Cafe & Roastery.
Offering vintage furnishings throughout the 1,200-square-foot space, the shop also looks squarely towards the future, promoting a sustainable no-waste operation.
“Initially, it drove me crazy seeing how many single-use products were involved in the brewing and roasting process,” The Fox Den Founder Patricia Acheson told DCN. “It wasn’t long after that I began looking into solutions to reduce the materials used when making and serving coffee.”
What Acheson created was a cozy cafe that features second-hand furniture, colorful rugs and a bar decorated in the thrift-store coffee mugs in which coffee is served. Guests may also bring their own vessel or purchase glass jars.
In the back area, Fox Den customers can purchase No Waste coffee in bulk at a weigh and pay station. The shop also sells environmentally friendly hygiene products, lifestyle products and other recyclable and compostable goods made by local small businesses.
“It’s very eclectic, and technically nothing matches, but it all comes together at the same time,” she said. “The atmosphere and the community we’ve created at this shop is incredible. When you are at the Fox Den, it’s very personal. I want people to feel like they are walking into my living room, or that this is my house and they’re always welcome.”
The coffee bar is fully equipped with a Rancilio Epoca 3-group espresso machine and multiple Elektra grinders. A 3-kilo roaster from Mill City Roasters helmed by Acheson browns coffees for blends with names like Tulum, Black Eyed Fox and Foxy Gal. Coffees from numerous countries make their way to the shop through importer InterAmerican Coffee.
Inside the shop, single-origin beans and blends make their way into hot or iced lattes, cortados, cappuccinos and cold brews. House-made syrups include lavender, rosemary, sage, vanilla and mocha.
Pastries include vegan brownies and gluten-free coconut macaroons, while guests are also offered a selection of gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches such as the Og (peanut butter and berry jam on sourdough), the Foco – Co Berry (peanut butter, Nutella and jam), and the Ikle Me Pickle Me (peanut butter and pickles on sourdough).
After moving from California to Fort Collins with a coffee background in 2021, Acheson opened the No Waste shop on March of this year, finding immediate support in the growing Colorado city.
“The response so far has been amazing. I love the concept of reusable mugs and cloth napkins that people can take with them, but I don’t want to be the only coffee company or roastery that has these kinds of practices,” said Acheson. “I hope to be a leader, and even consult with other coffee shops and restaurants, so more people can become waste-free.”
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Shavantay Minnis is a writer based in sunny South Florida. She enjoys nature, giving back to the community and her sugar with a side of coffee.