Local business owners brew up solution for coffee shortage

Local business owners brew up solution for coffee shortage

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

A pair of Esquimalt business owners are making sure Canadian soldiers and air crew deployed to Mali can enjoy a hot cup of gourmet coffee to start their day.

Helen Edley, co-owner of Sharkz Coins on Esquimalt Road, is fully aware how much comfort a morning cup of coffee can be to military men and women stationed in far-away places as her spouse served in the Royal Canadian Navy, and they have sons in the Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army.

While the Canadian Armed Forces troops in Mali are well-supported and are re-supplied with their materiel and food requirements (including coffee) on a regularly basis, she wanted to add a personal “gourmet” touch to their morning cup of java.

While on a short fresh-air walk from her store, she passed by the newly opened Esquimalt Roasting Company, and an idea was brewed.

After a quick chat with the coffee business owner Greg Sherwell, an agreement was made to ship large bags of specialty coffee to the military camp in Mali.

Sherwell, who opened his new coffee shop last June and grinds fresh coffee on site with a massive industrial-sized coffee grinder, was more than willing to assist when Edley approached him with the idea.

“I want my business to be part of the community and the military is a big part of the Esquimalt community, so it made sense for me to be involved in this and other opportunities where I can support community-minded initiatives,” said Sherwell. “It’s nice to think that when someone is far away from home they can enjoy a beverage that might make them feel a little closer to their home.”

Last week he prepared the shipment and then Edley shipped the bags of coffee over to Mali through Canadian Forces Base Trenton.

“We appreciate the support of our friends in the community. Their kind gestures of remembering our deployed troops, through care packages, helps boost their morale,” said Captain Christopher Daniel of the gesture.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is supporting the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). This is part of the Government of Canada’s overall efforts to help set conditions for durable peace, development, and prosperity in Mali. The core mission is to provide MINUSMA with the 24/7 capability to medically evacuate UN forces by air. CAF members are also supporting MINUSMA headquarters.

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