Ride the Green Wave with Organic Syrups from MONIN

Green coffee shops are a rising star in the specialty coffee industry, offering a wide variety of environmentally and socially responsible coffee options.

Fully organic shops are generally most successful in “mature” coffee drinking markets where customer taste and income levels tend to be higher. Stockton Graham & Co. offers a variety of sustainable coffee selections for organic shops.Monin Organic Vanilla Syrup

But even if you’re not in a market that can support a fully fair-trade or green business, adding certified organic syrups to hot and cold drinks on your menu could help your store ride this wave.

MONIN Organic Syrups are certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI), certified Vegan, Kosher, Halal and are Gluten and GMO-free. A yogi’s dream. With all natural ingredients come heightened flavor profiles, and our customers typically find that less syrup is required to achieve the same flavor profile as the other syrups. MONIN Organic Syrups come in caramel, hazelnut, raspberry, chocolate and vanilla. The top flavors include:

Vanilla: Vanilla is a prized spice of the tropics, with the preeminent producer being the island nation of Madagascar. Offering a pleasant, smooth taste, vanilla is an essential coffeehouse and foodservice flavoring with endless applications.

Raspberry: The most common raspberries are red, but originally all raspberries were white. Legend says that one day, the Nymph Ida tried to pick some wild white raspberries to calm the god Jupiter who was in a rage. While picking the fruits, Ida scratched her finger on the thorny raspberry bush. According to this Roman myth, her blood forever died the raspberries a bright red color.

Caramel: The word “caramel” refers to caramelized sugar, traditionally obtained by melting sugar in a sauce pot of water. The rich flavor and color of caramel derive from the process of heating and melting the sugar. Caramel is an ingredient in many popular confections, beverages and desserts.

MONIN also makes organic sweeteners. The Organic Agave Nectar Syrup is made with organically grown agave nectar with no additives or preservatives. Agave, a succulent plant native of Mexico, the southwestern US and tropical South Africa, is a flowering plant with many culinary and medicinal uses. Each agave plant will produce several pounds of edible flowers during its final blooming season. The stalks, which are ready during the summer, before the blossom, weigh several pounds each. Roasted, they are sweet and can be chewed to extract the aguamiel, like sugarcane.The nectar is produced by filtering and processing the expressed juice from the core of the agave plant. Agave has grown in popularity in recent years because of its low glycemic index. Similar to sugar yet sweeter, with honey-nutty notes, Organic Agave Nectar Syrup contains fewer calories and carbohydrates than sugar.

For more information on MONIN’s Organic Syrups and recipe ideas, download their sales flyer.

Call a Stockton Graham & Co. Customer Care Associate in Raleigh, North Carolina at 800.835.5943 to order MONIN organic syrups and sweeteners.

EarthDay Primer: Easy Ways to Waste Less, Make More

Susatainable Coffees from Stockton GrahamLet’s face it, running a coffee business produces a lot of waste. Each one of those paper ”to-go” cups eventually ends up in a landfill somewhere. When you add the cardboard boxes, milk jugs, syrup bottles, aseptic cartons and coffee grounds, the average coffee shop could generate millions of pounds of trash each year.

As we prepare for International Earth Day on April 22, the team at Stockton Graham & Co. is thinking about ways to help coffee shops reduce waste and increase their overall profits.

We talked to Thom Swain, our Southeast Director of Business Development, about tactics he used to reduce waste as director of franchise development at a popular New Orleans coffee shop brand. His top suggestions involve saving on what’s likely to be two of your largest monthly product expenses: Coffee and Milk.

Coffee: The average coffee shop wastes as much as two pounds of coffee per week. Spillage from the espresso grinder alone can cost nearly $1000/year. Coaching staff to be more aware and avoid the spillage, or investing in an on-demand grinder would reduce this waste greatly.

Milk: Wasting as much as 1oz. of milk per drink can result in 1-2 gallons of milk wasted per day. This can easily top 700 gallons per year and cost $2000-$3000. Training staff to properly measure prior to preparation would curtail much of this waste.

“Since coffee and milk are agricultural products, waste affects availability and consequently consumer prices,” Thom Swain advised.

And since there are essentially two ways to make money in coffee — sell more and spend less — helping the environment by reducing waste can have a delightfully positive impact on your bottom line.

“If every American coffee shop were to reduce waste in these two ways, we could stop dumping 17 million gallons of milk down the drain and throwing 2.5 million pounds of coffee into our landfills,” Thom said.

For more ideas on how to reduce costs in your store, call Thom Swain or any of our Customer Care Associates at 800.835.5943.

How a Nicaraguan coffee farm is “Growing Green”

The Selva Negra in Nicaragua does things differently.

Selva Negra Coffee FarmNestled high in a mountainous region blanketed in rainforests, Selva Negra is well over 100 years old. Northeast of Volcan Momotombo, the farm is part of a larger resort that is entirely self-sustaining.

The resort provides ecolodging and includes: animal reserves, restaurants, eco-tourism and a newer wind farming initiative. The local Nicaraguans who work on the farm are providedwith housing, healthcare, schools for their children and scholarship opportunities. Selva Negra has earned international recognition for their sustainable efforts.

Selva Negra Coffee FarmThe estate is committed to economic, social and environmental sustainability through biodiversity conservation, reducing their carbon footprint and using alternative energy. In addition to these efforts, the estate recycles and reuses whenever possible and teaches other farms in the area how to be more sustainable.


Eddy and Mausi Kühl operate the estate with the spirit of Nicaragua in mind. Born and raised in the mountains of Matagalpa, Eddy is a leading historian of the region and country. He has authored the definitive history of coffee in Nicaragua and is passionate about preserving native culture. Mausi has devoted her life to producing one of the best-tasting coffees in the world through innovative and sustainable practices. She is continually improving the estate’s environmental practices by learning and exchanging new ways to save natural resources.

Selva Negra Coffee FarmWhile many coffee farms in Nicaragua utilize clear cutting techniques, Selva Negra farmers follow strict standards of shade growing; leaving the rainforest and Natural habitats intact. The award-winning farm produces delicious Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee, which is available through Stockton Graham & Co.

The coffee is wet processed, highlighting a caramel and honey flavor which is balanced by moderate acidity and a full, creamy body. Find out more about this farm here.

To order this flavorful, sustainably produced coffee, give us a call at 800.835.5943.






A Guide to Understanding Sustainability

In today’s world, there are several different sustainability certifications, especially in terms of coffee. A specific type of coffee can be classified under one or many categories, including, but not limited to Organic, Kosher, Fair Trade, Bird-Friendly, Shade Grown, and Rainforest Alliance. Due to the fact that there are several different certifications, trying to remember or distinguish them can become very confusing, so consider this to be a guide of labels and definitions in the world of coffee sustainability certifications!

Organic: Organic products are developed with an approach that views the farm as an integral part of the global ecosystem. Emphasis is placed on recycling, composting, soil health and biological activity with the goal of long-term protection of the farm environment. Synthetic chemicals are rigorously avoided. In accordance with the 1990 Organic Foods Production Act, effective October 21, 2002, the US Department of Agricultural regulated which products can be labeled “organic,” “made with organic ingredients” or “100% organic.” Only products that meet the organic foods, production, processing and handling criteria are eligible to be labeled as USDA Certified. Stockton Graham & Co. is a certified organic handler per the USDA National Organic Program and we are inspected annually.

Kosher: There are many different kosher certification agencies whose principal objectives are to ensure the ingredients used in a product; the processing methods; and handling of the product meets strict Jewish dietary guidelines. Kosher certified products offer assurance to the consumer about the purity of the ingredients used to make it. Stockton Graham & Co., based upon an annual inspection and records review, maintains a kosher certification on our coffees through the Atlanta Kashruth Commission.

Shade Grown: A coffee that is shade grown is one considered to be grown in the canopy of taller, shade trees. These trees can be a variety of species and with a variety of sparseness and heights. Not only does coffee thrive in shaded areas, but the acidic soil that the coffee plant grows in also acts as a natural fertilizer for these trees which provide ideal habitats for several native birds, bats and insects.

Bird Friendly: Coffees produced in a shade canopy that offers habitats for native and migratory bird populations are considered Bird-Friendly™. The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) has developed a set of strict criteria for evaluating shade coffee farms. An independent, third party inspector determines whether a farm meets these criteria or not. Only those farms that also meet organic certification standards are eligible to be certified as “Bird-Friendly”™ companies.

Fair Trade: In its simplest form, Fair Trade means that the producer of the coffee receives a price sufficient to cover their costs of production, and provides a reasonable return on their invested capital. The words “fair-trade” are used by several different organizations that may or may not be governed by FLO (the Fair Labeling Organization International) which provides guidance and audit trails to ensure the price paid to the producer is indeed fair.

Rainforest Alliance: The Rainforest Alliance (“TRA”) works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. The Rainforest Alliance works with people, whose livelihoods depend on the land, while helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. From large multinational corporations to small, community-based cooperatives, TRA involves businesses and consumers worldwide in efforts to bring responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is growing steadily.

Here at Stockton Graham & Co., we offer a selection of sustainable coffees in our NCompass line which contains coffees with one or more of the above certifications. With these coffees, your customers can feel good that with their purchase, they will help support a healthy environment and enhance the worldwide ecosystem. For more coffee information, please give us a call at 800-835-5943, and we’d be glad to assist you!

Matt Hogan
Stockton Graham & Co.