Participation and Support
Just Us! members and employees participate in local community events as much as possible either to serve coffee, talk about our partnerships with producer organizations, learn from our neighbours or just to be part of the scene. Each month, we contribute products or support to local community organizations that have a mission aligned with our co-op.
Our roastery, chocolate workshop, head office, museum and one of our coffeehouses are all located in the same building in Grand Pre, Nova Scotia. The small agricultural community on the shores of the Minas Basin, part of the Bay of Fundy, is in the Annapolis Valley, which has a reputation for great apples and now one of the most northern trails of wineries in North America. The land is within the traditional territories of the Mi'kmaq First Nations and was first settled by Europeans when the French came to the area in 1680 and named it Grand Pre, or “large meadow” in French. The Acadian French created a network of dike systems in the tidal marshlands of the basin to create rich pastures and crop lands, many of which still exist. In the mid 18th century, the British deported the Acadians from these lands after going to war with France. The Grand-Pré National Historic Site of Canada near our roastery commemorates the Acadians of Minas Basin and the event which took them from their homes.
We operate a coffeehouse in Wolfville, about a 10 minute drive from our roastery, where we partnered with the Acadia Cinema Co-operative to purchase and restore a landmark heritage building and theatre in the town centre. There are regular circuits of musicians and independent films that are featured in the theatre, now called the ‘Al Whittle’ after the long time manager that kept the cinema running for many years. The lobby space shared by our coffeehouse and the theatre, is home to Jack’s Gallery, which has a rotating display of pieces from local artists. For information on displaying your work at Jack's Gallery, please use this submission form (PDF). Wolfville is a progressive community with many conscientious citizens interested in music, art, the local food movement, organic agriculture and fair trade. It is also home to Acadia University, which gives the town a youthful flair and a reputable academic community. Just Us! is a member of the Wolfville Farmers Market, where we serve coffee to our regulars and friends at the bustling market every weekend.
Halifax / Dartmouth
We operate two coffeehouses in HRM, which is one of the main urban hubs of Atlantic Canada. Our Spring Garden location is near the Dalhousie campus and adjacent to some beautiful, historic residential neighbourhoods. Our newest and patiently awaited Dartmouth location is finally open at King’s Wharf. We feel very connected to city residents and enjoy participating at community events and markets. Many of the Just Us! baristas live in the city and are an active part of the culture and communities of Halifax and Dartmouth.
Flowercart is a non-profit organization that promotes community participation by adults considered to have an intellectual disability through supported training and employment. Their vocational program provides work opportunites and produces its own line of wood-working, food and clothing products. Flowercart also creates a range of opportunities for supported training and employment in the community. Our co-op has successfully partnered with Flowercart to employ several adults in our roastery and chocolate operations in Grand Pre. Check out their commercial kitchen services.
Nova Scotia Food Policy Council
Nova Scotians from all walks of life and all sectors of the food system held the Founding Meeting of the Nova Scotia Food Policy Council on April 19, 2010 in Truro. These dedicated individuals elected a Board, Chair and Vice-Chair. Many people from across this Province and from all sectors share the goal of a secure, sustainable, and just food system that will benefit all Nova Scotians, now and in the future. The Council will help facilitate the work of the many organizations and individuals already working to bring this about. The Council will be a means for gaining information about issues and challenges, seeking out and helping to implement solutions, and raising public awareness of the environmental, health, economic, social and many other benefits of supporting a sustainable food supply for all Nova Scotians. The challenges are huge, but already more than 100 people from all sectors are participating.