Located just around the corner from EcoBuilding Bargains in Gasoline Alley in Springfield, MA, Monsoon Coffee Roastery & Espresso Bar provides locals with a place to lounge, work, and converse with one another. The sustainable practices of this roastery greet you immediately as you enter the shop through reclaimed 200-year-old barn doors.
Owners Tim and Andrea Monson have created a business with a mission of sustainable and environmentally friendly practices to produce coffee with a low carbon footprint. Everything inside their roastery is made from repurposed materials (either found or purchased at EcoBuilding Bargains), they implement composting programs with their wholesale partners, run on 100% wind power energy, and customers take their coffee to go in compostable products.
Monsoon was birthed out of an amalgamation of change in both Tim and Andreas lives, they didn’t want to work for anybody else anymore. Instead they wanted to pursue their own dreams and build a life where they had control over it. Tim, with a degree in business administration and a concentration in green sustainable business practices brought his expertise to Monsoon. Both Tim and Andrea felt morally compelled to do their own part and take care of the earth, while making sure to not force green practices upon other people. They believe that “everybody has to do their own part in their own way,” and running a sustainable business is their way of doing their part.
“It’s not that hard to do things a little better than the systems that are in place already,” Tim stated. “We really wanted to emphasize that as we moved into the space here.” The success of their sustainable business is a “social capital venture,” for them, in which they hope to empower, network, and promote other vendors in the Springfield area.
“It may take a little extra effort initially to set up green practices [in your business],” Tim acknowledged, but also mentioned that in the long run there’s opportunities for cost savings. “We’re down to about one kitchen trash bag of trash every week, and we save over a thousand dollars a year in trash removal services alone.”
When you visit, look out for the creative ways Andrea and Tim upcycled reclaimed items:
- The barrels, which came with the space, are filled with vinegarized cider and too heavy to move. Tim and Andrea incorporated them into the space, not only as menus, but also as a heat sink in the open-air environment. The barrels help regulate the air and temperature especially when the roaster emits large amounts of heat.
- Burlap sacks cover their HVAC system and act as ceiling tiles, reducing the noise of the roaster.
- Old pieces of a fence that were found on the property when they moved in are used to finish off the ceiling in conjunction with the burlap sacks.
- An 8’x4’ French door that was purchased from EcoBuilding Bargains before Andrea and Tim took over the space was turned into their espresso bar.
- Leftover paint was mixed together to paint the walls.
- The sitting areas include palettes upcycled into tables and reclaimed fabrics for furniture upholstery.
Monsoon is a place that Tim and Andrea hope can inspire other people in their community to reuse and adopt sustainable practices in their homes and businesses. “It’s okay to reuse, it has a beauty of its own, reuse has so much character and personality,” said Andrea.
The next time you’re in Springfield we hope you’ll visit our neighbors at Monsoon Coffee Roastery & Espresso Bar. Enjoy a Nitro cold brew, the reclaimed décor, and pick up some beans for your morning cup. In a world where everything is disposable, Monsoon is a place that challenges that mindset by encouraging the movement of reuse.
“There’s something you can’t get with that new construction,” Tim added. “You’re giving something that’s already had a life a new one. There’s a lot of satisfaction and reward that comes out of putting in the effort into reusing something.”
Hear from Andrea and Tim Monson on their experience using reclaimed materials and practicing a sustainable business model.