Producer of the Week: Sweet Tree Artisan Roasters

Sweet Tree artisan coffees. Photo by Copper Lantern Pictures.

Sweet Tree’s coffees. Photo by Copper Lantern Pictures.

“We think of coffee roasting as an art,” says Pete Pijanowski, a volunteer who works for Sweet Tree Artisan Roasters. “We are extremely dedicated to our product, and we always bring the best quality product to the market each week.”

You can find Pete and these products at the Sweet Tree market booth every Saturday. These days Pete is selling a good deal of nitro cold brew coffee, which makes sense given the recent spike in warm temperatures. “Cold brewing is a process of grinding the coffee and pouring in cold water. You let the grounds sit for 20 or more hours so you get a concentrate out of that. Afterwards, you water it down, keg it, and charge it with nitrogen gas,” Pete says. “It’s a process, but the end result is well worth it.”

While Sweet Tree’s cold brew coffee is a favorite among market patrons, they also have many other popular artisan coffees from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, and more. “We’re 100 percent pure coffee,” Pete says.

Sweet Tree has been in the roasting business since 2013. Local owners Ian and Melissa Kingsley began roasting coffee as a hobby. “Ian then made the mistake of letting his friends try his coffee,” jokes Pete. “They loved it so much they urged him to share it with others as a business.”

Coffee roasting is a passion for Ian and Melissa. Stop by their booth at the market to talk with them and with Pete, and while you’re there, ask for a cup of their nitro cold brew coffee. It’s a great way to satisfy your coffee craving and beat the heat!

PRODUCER’S SPECIAL:  Any two bags of coffee for $24. Some single origin whole bean coffees you may want to try include Ethiopian Burka Gudina (cherry notes, cocoa, full body), Sulawesi Toarco (buttery body, spice, tomato), Kenyan Kihenia (strawberry, candy-tart), Sumatra Peaberry (vanilla, melon, grapefruit, earthy), and Rwandan Misozi (pleasant complex notes of honey, raspberry, tangerine acidity).

Producer of the Week: Hippie Soap Company

Handcrafted speciality soaps from Hippie Soap Company. Photo credit: Copper Lantern Pictures

Handcrafted speciality soaps from Hippie Soap Company. Photo credit: Copper Lantern Pictures

Hippie Soap Company is a new producer this year at the UM Farmers Market. In fact, they’re a new company entirely.  “We had been buying craft soap from other vendors,” said Stephanie Oram, co-owner of Hippie Soap. “We read books and blogs on soap making and decided to start our company in September of last year.”

Stephanie and her business partner Henry Toroni make a number of handcrafted soaps, lotions, and lip balms. In their first visit to the market, they found their unscented lotion bars, as well as their Moroccan Mint, Lavender, and Patchouli Tie Dye soaps sold very well. “We’re still learning what our most popular products are going to be,” Henry said. By talking to patrons, they learned a great deal about people’s allergies to certain scents. This information was valuable, they said, because it will help them think about the products they produce for the market.

Henry and Stephanie were drawn to the UM Farmers Market based on its proximity to their business. Once here, they found they liked the setting and the patrons. “It was really nice meeting people from the neighborhood today,” said Stephanie.

If you’re wondering, the name Hippie Soap came from Henry and Stephanie thinking about using the initials of their first names – H and S. That evolved into Hippie Soap “because making soap is a hippie thing to do,” said Stephanie. If you haven’t yet met Henry and Stephanie, please visit them at the market this week to browse their great selection of bar soaps, solid lotions, lip lotions, and men’s shaving soap.

PRODUCER SPECIAL: In honor of being selected Producer of the Week, Hippie Soap will be selling its lotion bars for $3. That’s $1 off the original price. Stop by their booth and take advantage of this special pricing!