Karen Larson '96 Helps Teenagers Through Peace Corps
For many, coffee serves as a simple beverage with an amazing ability
to kick a body into gear during those groggy mornings on the way
It’s a daily wake-up call for millions, but not for Beth
Heiliger Dominick ’97, who views the daily cup o’ joe as far more
than a mere stimulant.
“Coffee is a huge business and the second most valuable
commodity in the world after petroleum,” Dominick said. “It’s also
a cup full of issues: human rights, social development, rainforest
preservation and pesticide use.”
Owner and roastmaster of Sacred Grounds Organic Coffee
Roasters, based in Arcata, Calif., Dominick became interested in
the coffee business after moving to the Golden State.
major, Dominick originally headed west to take a seasonal position
working at Redwoods National Park, but she soon found herself
working at a newly opened coffee shop in the area. The job quickly
piqued her curiosity.
“The more I learned about coffee, the more I wanted to know,”
The staff ’s commitment to sustainability issues, including
organic, fair-trade and shade-grown concerns, especially impressed
Dominick, and the company eventually promoted her to manager,
then roaster and now roastmaster.
As roastmaster, Dominick regularly uses the skills she learned as a
biology major and environmental science minor at Wittenberg.
degree, which emphasized observation, record keeping, report
writing and the need to maintain a log notebook, served as the perfect
preparation for my career,” she said.
“It also continues to enable me
to see all of the connections between my morning cup, a remote
village in northern Bolivia and the habitats of the Howler Monkey,
Western Tanagers and Morpho butterflies.”
In addition, “choosing organic/shade-grown/fair-trade coffee each
morning is a simple everyday way to express your values,” she
“Plus, the intense concentrated flavors of fresh-roasted,
heirloom-variety coffee put supermarket coffees to shame.”