Tag Archives: lowcountry food bank

Uniting the World with Coffee

The Olympics are over, and I am a little sad.  I always enjoying watching the games, but not necessarily for the sport of it, nor to chant “USA! USA! USA!” (though that is a pretty big part). I found that this year, I really liked seeing countries unifying for this beloved tradition that dates back to (probably) 776 BC in Ancient Greece. Of everything this world has gone through, I love that we still unite for these games. Not only does it give us a chance to become increasingly nationalistic for a few weeks, but it reminds us that we are all on this earth, and no matter our language, we can unite under the game. Did you see North Korea and South Korea shake hands!?

Ok, so what does this have to do with the #beanteam? Well, I was thinking… coffee is a HUGE export and is loved by many. Different regions produce different flavored beans, but also make their coffee in very specific ways. I looked it up and found that are numerous countries that export coffee. The United States is not one (which is no surprise) so we go elsewhere. This export really does unite people on an economic and social way.

The National Geographic, which I have always loved for their insight into cultures different from my own, has a coffee specific website that not only addresses the legends and history of coffee, but maps out the major exporters all over the world. Brazil, the largest producer of coffee, put out $22.5 million bags in 1997-1998 crop year (the latest they have data from). Each bag weighs about 132 pounds. I did the math and that equals a LOT of coffee… I can’t even imagine orchestrating the exchange of this stuff. This website even has a forum where anyone can come together and talk about their coffee.  Perhaps my favorite quote on the page is this description of coffee: “‘Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love.’ That’s the recipe for coffee, according to the utterly French statesman Talleyrand (1754-1838).” If that isn’t a man passionate about his coffee, I don’t know what is. And this was around 200 years ago. Not much as changed.

So, the Lowcountry Blend, although specific to the Charleston area, offers flavors from our friends in South and Central America. We ask others to help us with our coffee initiatives and in turn, help feed those less fortunate in our area. I will toast to that.

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Posted by on August 14, 2012 in Caffeinate Charleston


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Get a Slice of This!

Happy Friday everyone! It is already August and that means school is near.  I hope that you all take advantage of the tax-free weekend!

Are you a fan of pizza, pasta, salad, sandwiches, and delicious desserts?  If your answer was “yes,” give Brixx Pizza a try!  The first Brixx Pizza was opened in 1998 and now there are fourteen locations that travel up the east coast.  The idea behind Brixx Pizza was to create an atmosphere that combined the techniques of fine dining, with the feel of being casual.  Brixx Pizza offers a variety of foods, some of my favorite being, the Margherita Pizza, the Spinach and Artichoke dip with pita, and the Southwest Chicken Salad.  You should really try those and then try the rest of the menu!  Brixx Pizza does an excellent job of creating new flavors and colors on ordinary pizza.  For instance, Brixx now has a Thai Chicken Pizza.  This pizza brings the taste of Thailand to those on the east coast!  You should really give that pizza a try if you are up for something different, unoriginal, and a little bit spicy.

This past Wednesday, the Brixx Pizza in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina showed their support for the #beanteam and the Lowcountry Blend.  Never forget that with every cup of coffee that is purchased from a Sunoco APlus store, a cup of coffee is donated to the Lowcountry Food Bank.  So, as we say a huge ‘thank you’ to those at Brixx Pizza for supporting our cause, give them a huge ‘thank you’ by visiting one of their fourteen locations on the east coast!

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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in Caffeinate Charleston


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Coffee for a Cause

Today, I am going to follow Alaina’s lead and take a step back from all the coffee talk and turn our attention to another significant part of the Lowcountry Blend campaign, the Lowcountry Food Bank. The Lowcountry Food Bank is Sunoco’s official partner of the Caffeinate Charleston campaign, in which, for each cup of Lowcountry Blend sold, one cup will be donated to the Lowcountry Food Bank.

The Lowcountry Food Bank was founded in 1983 as a clearinghouse for food donations and other resources with the help of Trident United Way and the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina. They serve the ten coastal counties by, “soliciting and distributing healthy food and grocery products to nonprofit agencies serving the poor, and to educate the public about the problems and solutions to domestic hunger.”

In addition to providing food and other goods they also provide other resources such as nutrition education, safe food handling practices and maintenance information. The Lowcountry Food Bank is also highly involved in childhood hunger efforts such as Kids Cafe, Backpack Buddies and the School Pantry. So far this year the Lowcountry Food Bank has helped 4,166 children through these programs.

With such incredible services and a heartfelt staff the Lowcountry Food Bank is a truly important and gifted organization. With that in mind, the Lowcountry Food Bank needs your help. They are currently in the running for the Non-Profit of the Year Award given through Charleston Magazine. So, if you have a second while your sipping on your cup of Lowcountry Blend please go online and vote so they can move on to the next round!

For more information on the Lowcountry Food Bank visit

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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Caffeinate Charleston


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Coffee, Infographics, and You

One of my favorite media trends is the use of infographics. Infographics are simple illustrations, graphics, charts…whatever, really… that are paired with facts or statistics in order to display information in an interesting and visually appealing way. We all know this is becoming an increasingly visual world, and with the information overload we encounter daily, it is hard to get our attention on any one thing for any length of time.

So for today, I found this handy graphic entitled 15 Things Worth Knowing About Coffee. It is a rather large graphic, so you will need to follow the link to see it… I won’t post it here! But if you do follow the think, it tells us of all the different ways coffee is made, random and seemingly outrageous laws in coffee’s history, and how caffeine really works. It is also rather witty and entertaining!

After I found this infographic, I was curious what else I could find. Low and behold, there were all kinds of graphics that showed up after a simple Google search. Look! There is more:

This website shows not one, not two, but 27 Infographics depicting coffee. There is one going along with my last post about coffee vs. tea, one depicting coffee differences all over the world, the pros and cons of caffeine, how different coffe drinks are made, and how coffee compares to other beverages, such as energy drinks or sodas. OH and as an added bonus, the video I posted a few weeks back is also on there! I love when I find these connections!

So, the moral of the story is: Thanks to new media, you can be educated on almost anything, anytime, anywhere. Infographics give you quick and fun facts about the topic of your choosing, and in this case, coffee. Being an intern this summer really has taught me a ton about coffee, and I almost didn’t realize it! I feel like I could quiz you on this. QUICK: What would you have if you added 1 part Lowcountry Blend with 1 part milk tea? How large (in $$$) is the global coffee market? Just how big was the biggest cup of coffee on record? You will find the answers in these graphics!

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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Caffeinate Charleston


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Picturing the #BeanTeam

As we embark on the first week of the Caffeinate Charleston campaign, I can see a fun-filled adventure ahead us. As a member of the #BeanTeam, one of my responsibilities will be to document events and most of all, document our journey throughout this campaign.

I was a combat photojournalist for the U.S. Air Force for 10 years. From that experience, I learned how to create a picture by controlling light and telling a story through photos. So with that, I’ll be drawing upon my previous experience and photography skills to cover our campaign throughout the summer.

We hope to share with you our experiences throughout this project. So far I have photographed the press conference on Monday at the Lowcountry Food Bank, officially introducing “Lowcountry Blend” coffee to Charleston. The photos can be found here.

I look forward to taking more photos and sharing them with you as our story unfolds. You can also come out to join us during one of our future events and be a part of our story. Follow us on our blog and we’ll make sure to keep you posted!

~JoAnn Makinano

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Posted by on June 7, 2012 in Caffeinate Charleston


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Charleston Blend Tasting and Brew Selection

In an attempt to “Caffeinate Charleston,” Sunoco decided to hold a tasting event where attendees could choose from a variety of coffee blends and name options, created just for the Lowcountry region. 

On May 1, we invited Sunoco store managers in the Charleston, SC area, along with staff from our Sunoco corporate team; staff and volunteers from the Lowcountry Food Bank and American Red Cross, our charitable partners; and our new Bean Team interns, students from the College of Charleston, to the Lowcountry Food Bank for this event.

Our BeanTeam interns and staff at the Charleston Tasting Event


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