Ingenious Coffee Roasters in Marion has already gained a devoted following across the region for the tasty and aromatic blends. But now the wholesale coffee distributor has a new blend with a special purpose.
Located at 19 N. Main St., Ingenious Coffee Roasters is a small batch roasting company and wholesale distributor of coffee beans to restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and other businesses. Master roaster Eli Michael Ornberg and sales consultant Jonathan Jones operate this firm out of a small space just beside the entrance to the Crooked Door Coffee House. Their blends can be found at restaurants and coffee shops all over western North Carolina. They also seek “to bring fresh and new intuitive ideas to any new business,” according to their Website.
Now, they have released a new coffee called Cup of Life which seeks to raise money for a local non-profit organization that helps others.
For Ornberg and Jones, this is the fulfillment of a dream.
“We’ve been open here a year and six months,” said Ornberg, adding he and Jones worked together for nine years prior to that.
During their business partnership, they wanted to come up with a special coffee that could be used to promote and help a non-profit group.
“It’s been a dream of ours to have a special blend and have it benefit someone,” said Ornberg.
That dream has come true with their latest coffee blend. It is called Cup of Life and the sale of this coffee benefits Alive^3, or Alive cubed.
This is a non-profit organization set up “to inspire, enrich, and fund life.” The organization’s motto is “When mind, body and soul are in balance, life is elevated.”
Alive^3 is dedicated to “helping others live life to the fullest.” Headquartered in Morganton, the non-profit was founded by Alex Garcia, whose family owns Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Marion. The registered 501c3 has a Website www.alivecubed.org and a Facebook page.
Garcia said to The McDowell News that Alive^3 is about “empowering people to live lift to the fullest and in balance.”
Alive^3 is similar to More Heart Than Scars, another non-profit group based in McDowell County. Started in 2012, More Heart than Scars is a non-profit organization that seeks to help people overcome personal traumas, disabilities and diseases and become stronger, both physically and mentally. The two organizations share common goals and sometimes hold events that involve each other and benefit each other.
Alive^3, or Alive cubed, has four main projects:
• Helping terminally ill children fulfill their lifelong dreams or “bucket lists.”
• Holding Project Angel, a toy walk on Christmas Eve in the McDowell and Burke communities and delivering gifts from door to door for children in need.
• The Love 22 effort. This is a challenge to Americans to reach out to 22 veterans between April 22nd and Veteran’s Day and show “compassion, love, honor and respect to our veterans.” On April 22 of this year, Garcia climbed up N.C. 80 22 times to bring awareness to the number 22. He rode his bicycle 22 times up and down the steep mountain road in 33 hours. The significance of the number 22 comes from a Department of Defense reported which indicated 22 veterans die by suicide a day. The Love 22 effort challenges Americans to show their love and support for our veterans. This can include visiting a VA hospital or helping out at the home of the veteran’s widow or just simply thanking a veteran for his or her service, according to the Website.
• Promoting life through hikes, races, overall physical fitness along with healthy living for mind, body and soul. Alive^3 seeks to promote this philosophy through races and endurance contests like the Cub Crawl for children and the Bear Crawl for adults. The Bear Crawl features an obstacle course including river traverses, mud bogs, 135-pound log carry (elite men), tire flips, tire drags, walls, fire and a brutal one-fourth mile crawl up a steep slope. At one Bear Crawl, a team sought to raise money to help a family whose daughter has neuroblastoma, a form of cancer among children. The racers at this event sought to raise money so the girl and her family could enjoy a getaway at Great Wolf Lodge.
The first ever Bear Crawl was held at Jellystone Park on a cold and rainy day in March 2015. That inaugural event was considered a big success and a followup Bear Crawl was held in November, also at Jellystone Park.
It was at the latest Bear Crawl on Saturday, June 25 that Ornberg and Jones launched their new blend Cup of Life. It is a coffee with a medium to moderate body. “Sweet notes up front that settles into a balanced and clean finish,” reads the package. “Can be enjoyed throughout the day.”
That Bear Crawl attracted 400 participants. It was held at a location in Morganton because of the summertime business at Jellystone Park, according to Garcia.
The package for Cup of Life also has a message which ties in with the philosophy behind Alive^3.
“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything,” reads the package. “They make the best of everything. Live simply. Love generously. Care Deeply. Speak kindly. #ownyourtoday.”
During the latest Bear Crawl event, Ornberg and Jones made 14 gallons of iced coffee and 16 pots of hot coffee. And the participants in the race and endurance contest were pleased with the new Cup of Life blend.
Now, you can purchase the Cup of Life blend and help support Alive^3 and their goals. The only place where you can get the Cup of Life coffee now is the Crooked Door Coffee House in downtown Marion, where it is available for $13.99.
For every bag sold, $1.03 of the $13.99 goes to Alive^3. And of that, $1 goes to support the Buckets of Life effort, which seeks to help worthy people fulfill their bucket lists. “We differ from other make a wish foundations in that we fund experiences for exceptional people of all ages and a variety of circumstance,” reads the Website for Alive^3.
The remaining 3 cents goes to the organization’s campaigns to promote a healthier body, mind and soul, said Ornberg and Jones.
“We’re kind of honored to even be a part of it,” said Jones. “When we opened this business, we wanted to give back to the community.”
But it will soon be available at coffee shops in Asheville, Hendersonville and other nearby towns.
It will also be sold at the first ever Asheville Coffee Expo scheduled for Oct. 1 in the River Arts District, said Ornberg and Jones.
As for the new Cup of Life, Garcia said he and his organization are thankful for the initiative by Ornberg and Jones.
“I think it’s amazing,” he said. “Coffee is one of those natural rejuvenators.”