Bongo Java is a small yet world-famous company. We opened what’s now Nashville’s oldest and most celebrated coffeehouse in 1993. The company has grown to include five completely different cafes and a wholesale roasting company. We became world famous in 1996 when an employee discovered a cinnamon bun that looks remarkably like Mother Teresa. The NunBun (TM) has appeared on media outlets around the world including BBC, CNN, NPR and (so we’ve been told) a Calcuttta newspaper.
Bongo Java Roasting Co. expands the definition of quality to include factors of how the coffee was purchased and grown to the important criteria of taste. Thus, we only buy 100% organic coffee from small-scale farmers at prices above the so-called Fair Trade price.
BJRC started in 1996 and moved into a new, larger facility in 2013. BJRC is Nashville’s only certified organic coffee roasting company and we carry 100% organic and Fair Trade coffee.
“When I put $1,000 in to help start Cooperative Coffees”, says owner Bob Bernstein, “I had little expectation of ever getting paid back. That initial investment has over time paid me, my company and our farmer partners back several times over. I’m proud that Bongo Java helped start an organization that does direct buying the right way. Cooperative Coffees does more than just buy coffee, it helps build long-term relationships. I remember the first time my very colorfully-expressive wife met my cooperative partners and exclaimed, ‘If anything happened to my husband I’d marry anyone of these men.’ I was proud of the sentiment– yet of course hope it never comes to that. I also think it’s important how Cooperative Coffees has built long-term relationships with farmers. CC members are spending their own money to fly around the world to meet with our growing partners. I got back way more than $1,000. I got partners, friends and a business I can be proud of.”