Knowing you have a good product is one thing, but how many owners actually take the time to see if their product is as fair trade and organic as they claim it is? Java Blend owner Jim Dikaios has started making trips to Central America to visit the farms he gets his coffee from. “I’d like to do more of it in the future,” says Dikaios, who sells beans from South America and Africa as well. “This way, you know exactly how the farmers are producing it and the way they treat their land and their community.” Dikaios regularly receives samples of coffee, which he and his employees judge to see if it’s good enough for their store. “We’re very quality-driven, which is a lot of fun for us because we get to taste all these great coffees,” he says.
First Runner-up: Two if by Sea
Second Runner-up: Just Us! Cafe