Mylo Coffee Company began at the Hillcrest Farmers Market with a selection of home-baked, hand-crafted pastries and pour-over coffees. While the demand for our pastries and coffees grew, we built important relationships with the growers and producers there. When Mylo became a brick-and-mortar store, these relationships created the basis for a philosophy that permeates everything we do. At Mylo, our commitment to the greater good is the cornerstone of every decision we make. Food sourcing is a major component of our business model, but we also understand that sustainability goes much further than simply purchasing the best ingredients. It means making the often difficult choice of equity and justice over economic gain or efficiency.
At Mylo, we know that doing what is right is not always the same as doing what is easy. This mindset is also evident in the ways we deal with waste, the ways we engage with our community, the ways we approach employment with our company, and the ways we grow and build our business. From the flour with which we bake our breads and pastries, to the cleaning solution we use to mop our floors, to the diversity of the people we hire, we are always looking for ways to foster a better life and a more just world for all.
When Mylo first became a brick-and-mortar establishment, we worked to reuse as many of the original building materials as possible. From the tables and their legs, to the dividing wall for the kitchen, to the window wall, and the community table, we built all of these with reclaimed wood from the original space. These choices not only support our sustainability efforts, but also maintain the historic nature of the building and thus preserve the nostalgic aesthetic of our neighborhood.
Another important, yet often overlooked, example of the effects of our business model is illustrated by our employment structure. Most of our employees work full-time. In our industry, part-time work is the norm, but we are working to change that. Our employees are encouraged to take on 40 hours per week with us so that they will not need second or third jobs. Most are paid well over minimum wage plus tips, which are divided equally among all staff—from the front-of-house to the kitchen. This structure promotes stability in their lives and allows them to live more sustainably. We believe that fair labor practices that enhance an individual’s quality of life also support a more healthy culture for all.
We also believe in the beauty and importance of diversity in all aspects of life. We strive to make Mylo a place where all people feel welcomed and appreciated. We work to build individual relationships with our customers and employees alike, as understanding breeds compassion and compassion breeds peace. As we move forward, we will strive to foster this sense of community and interconnectedness in each choice we make. We do as much as we can with our own hands, but when we do hire outside, we tap our own community first. We believe in our community and know that what is good for one of us is good for all of us. We want Mylo Coffee Company to be a beacon and a wayshower for how small business can thrive while still adhering to the vastly important principles of sustainability.
At Mylo, we recognize that there is always an opportunity to do more when it comes to sustainable living. It is a process and must be approached systematically. Going forward, we are looking to trade directly with coffee farmers all over the world, and to continue seeking more and more sustainable options for our company. We plan to maintain our focus on the sustainability of our immediate community as our business grows in hopes that the culture we help to establish here will radiate and catalyze all the people we reach to work toward a happier and healthier world for all. We understand that, although sustainable living is not always the cheapest or fastest way, it is always the most fulfilling, rewarding, and responsible.