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Give a man a fish: Redefining Charity in the 21st Century.

give a man a fish

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. We’ve all heard this saying. We’ve also heard, “Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Here at CICR we like to take this saying a step further. Let me show you.

“Give a man a fish? What if he could own the pond?

Western culture’s concept of charity is generally “Give a man a fish.” Some take this a step further, and “Teach a man to fish.”

Here at CICR, we’re a little more entrepreneurial than that. We want to, “Teach the man to own the pond!” If a man owns the pond he not only changes his life but the lives of his children and grandchildren. Land-ownership eliminates poverty — generationally.

Owning the pond: Sustainable Agriculture.
give a man a fish

Through our partnership with Agros we can help the man own the pond. Agros provides land-ownership programs to farmers in developing countries. Now, before you ask, Agros doesn’t just give them the land. No way. That’s “Give a man a fish.” That’s not sustainable. Instead Agros provides the financing to purchase the land — at low interest or no interest at all. Within 7 years whole villages of farmers have “deed burning” parties — celebrating their status as landowners.

As Agros supporters, we’ve seen the entrepreneurial results of dollars invested in these communities. It’s amazing to see how so much can be accomplished with so little. Check out to see for yourself.

While giving a person money is generous, it is not always wise. When you help people with the proper training and give them the opportunity to own their own land -watch out! The human spirit takes over and change happens!

But What Has This Got To Do With Ethical Coffee?

Give a man a fishFor every shipment of coffee we send out we give $1 back to Agros. By giving to Agros with every shipment we tie this model of charity directly to you — the consumer. You become part of this process. With something as simple and beautiful as a cup of coffee you can be a part of redefining charity in the 21st century. With every sip you generationally change farmer’s lives. That’s ethical coffee!

That’s why we would love for you to be a part of the process. Let’s face it. You’re going to buy coffee anyway. Why not be a part of a greater movement. Don’t just write a check during the Holidays! That’s like “Give a man a fish.” Be a part of sustainable agriculture in the developing world — “Teach him to own the pond!”

Thank you for your help!

Jeff – CICR

Want to do more than “Give a man a fish?”

Click below and we’ll send you a sample of free coffee to get you started.

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Teaching Ethical Business – Edmonds Community College

This note is a little late and we apologize for that! On Friday, February 27th, Camano Island Coffee Roasters was able to host a class of 19 people from Edmonds Community College. Jeff gave them a tour and was able to talk with them about sustainable business. Another hot topic they discussed was a very important topic to us at CICR: Ethical Business. The class received the discussion warmly and were open and inquisitive. Thank you to Edmonds Community College for the opportunity to spend time sharing our business and our vision with you!


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Coffee, The World in Your Cup – The Burke Museum


Wow! This was a great time. First off, to those of you that showed up because of our Twitter messages, Facebook updates, or word of mouth, “Thanks so much!” This was an awesome event and the Burke Museum did a great job setting up the story of coffee from plant to cup. We were able to meet so many new people and tell the story of CICR, our focus on breaking the cycle of poverty through ethical coffee and teaching some Coffee 101. We gave out over 200 free lattes and cups of drip coffee! The response was incredible!

My lovely wife gave out cups of our Brazil Coffee (March 09’s coffee of the month) and showed interested parties the difference between green coffee and unroasted Swiss Water Processed coffee.They were able to handle the green beans and taste the finished product. Jeff, pulled 1 shot of espresso for a gentleman and then went into “talk mode” (which I got to tease him for)! All teasing aside, it was great because he was really able to explain the mission of our company and help people understand that there is more to “Coffee, The World in Your Cup” than just a beverage. It tied the exhibit into our ethical coffee very well.

Myself? Well, I made a bunch of lattes, macchiatos, cappuccinos, americanos, and straight espressos and pulled all the shots after Jeff’s token espresso in the picture to the left (haha… I can’t give it up!) I was also able to explain more of the technical details of flavor characteristics of coffee as well as some of the best extraction methods (eg. Varietal Supremo is best used in espresso). Oh yeah, and as the company “geek”, I had fun Tweeting the event live (with pictures) and shooting images with my camera for use on our blog and Facebook page.

All in all, we had a great time and got to meet a lot of new people as well as see some familiar faces. Most importantly, we were able to explain how our customers were able to break the cycle of poverty in many coffee growing villages just through purchasing ethical coffee.

Thanks for supporting us! Your support helps us continue forward!



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Do Ethics Matter in Business?

Do ethics matter

Do ethics matter After 8 years as President of Camano Island Coffee Roasters I am convinced that the goal of every business is to listen to their “community”, give their “customers” what they ask for, and enrich the “communities” they are a part of.

At CICR, each one our customers or “prosumers” as we call them, supports what we are doing by purchasing our ethical coffee. Our community is the thousands of people we roast for, the many churches, schools, and businesses who buy from us, as well as the countries around the globe we send product to. Without you, we could not help support the 39 villages who are now on the path to sustainability. We know these great people are the most important link in the coffee chain.

Do ethics matter?

We are asked by many, why it matters where they purchase their coffee from. They may add that they already give money to charity and they don’t need to worry about issues like charity when buying their coffee. Our current US economic climate proves my point. We must end the climate of welfare, both for the people and for business.

Do Ethics matter? Let’s look at the results.

True success comes when people are given the tools necessary to own their own destiny and the education necessary to be self reliant (and not have money thrown at them). Why wouldn’t everyone be responsible with their coffee purchases knowing that a fair price is being paid to the farmers who actually do the work?

All we need to do is help these hardworking people secure the money for their land, help them in organizing their village, and pay them a fair price for growing organic, shade-grown coffee. With the right amount of work and a little time, we will end this worldwide cycle of welfare and begin working in true partnerships with our “prosumers” around the globe and our farmers. Then we can enjoy a safe cup of ethical coffee and know that everyone benefited from our purchase.

Ethics DO matter in business; ethics also matter here at Camano Island Coffee Roasters. That’s why we say that at CICR, we only sell “Coffee that helps you sleep at night”.

Please check out for more info on the sustainable change we are a part of.

Jeff – CICR

Do ethics matter


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We’re Live!


We’ve been working hard on a new way for our customers to learn more about the world of coffee. Are you interested in our company, our commitment to excellence, ethical coffee and the people that grow our coffee? We have found that whenever we get a chance to chat one-on-one with someone and are able to tell them our focus from our hearts, they always become more involved and more a part of their daily cup of coffee.

Get Into Your Coffee…

Ok, we don’t mean that you need to start dipping your fingers in your morning cup of Papua New Guinea coffee or take a bath in that dark roasted Sumatra coffee. What we’re trying to say is “Get into your coffee and understand what you’re drinking and why you’re drinking it!”.


There is so much to know and coffee affects so many people globally. It isn’t that hard to start learning… it’s just a matter of being a part of a community…


CICR is proud to introduce our blog to our Coffee Lover’s Club members, our Wholesale customers, our Licensee’s worldwide, and anyone else that wants to learn more and “Get Into Their Coffee…”

Enjoy being a part of the community surrounding the coffee you drink daily!

We’ll see ya there!

Camano Island Coffee Roasters

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Finishing Touches

The site has come along smoothly and we’re nearing the official launch.  We’ve added the “Global” tab to show the connections around the world that CICR has and help our prosumers understand the global reach of their purchasing.  We’ve also get the “About CICR” page ready for launch (with many more immediate ideas coming soon)!

Time to clean up the bugs… and then it’s time to invite everyone to “Get into their coffee…”


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Coffee Page is finished!

Medium Roast Tour

We’ve now added our full coffee lineup to the “Coffee” link at the top. Now you can get the most up to date information on our entire coffee offering list. We’ll be rewriting the descriptions for all of our coffees as well as offer a lot more information! Does a coffee sound good to you? Click the [+]More link and you can add it to your club order or just purchase it one time… quickly!

Also we’ve launched links to our companies on the sidebar and added a google map to our “about us” section.  There is still work to be done… but there is a great chance we’ll be announcing the site as live in just a few days!

Keep watching… MUCH more to come!

Get into your coffee…


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Photos and Movies are Live!

Our photos and movies pages are LIVE!  More will be added frequently but for now, go check out what we have.

Coming up next…

The Coffee and Links tabs!


The “mystery section” and the CICR Team!

For those of you watching the progress, thank you for following us so soon!  Please check back frequently as this site will update very rapidly!


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Get Into Your Coffee…

Welcome to our blog!  “Get Into Your Coffee…” is a new phrase you will start to see more and more around here, our Facebook site, our Tweets, our YouTube videos… and many other places!

In case you aren’t seeing a trend, we’re putting our message out in the open.  We’re inviting our customers, supporters, “groupies”, and people who are interested to “Get Into Your Coffee…” and dare to see the world that is around each cup of brew you drink.  The look isn’t corporate, nor is the way we maintain these pages.  This is community.  This is passion.

Have fun in the immersion…

Camano Island Coffee Roasters 
When Coffee is Your Passion.