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Bon Mua Oregon Brews The Best In Salem
The history of coffee is a colorful one, spiced with more than a bit of mythology when it comes to the alleged discovery of coffee plants in Ethiopia around the 10th century.
One legend has it that a herder stumbled upon coffee plants and enjoyed a buzz after first observing the lifting effect it was having on his goats. Another story circulated throughout history credits a Yemeni and Sufi mystic for trying coffee berries after watching birds get a charge out it.
Actual domestic coffee consumption in liquid form can definitely be traced to monastic life in Yemen in the 15th century when Sufis assuredly took to sipping on the stuff.
Coffee’s popularity enjoyed a slow and, more often than not, steady climb in popularity as trade routes opened up. Even though the Ethiopian Orthodox Church cracked down on the first budding coffee craze because Muslims were enjoying java, it became the go-to beverage of Bedouins to beatniks to a bevy of present day consumers falling in love with Starbucks’s burnt and overly acidic brand of brew.
The latter mud has captivated consumers thanks to the marketing genius of Howard Schultz and an axiom: mediocrity sells. Coffee’s rich roots filter down to individual families, too, and I promise not to devote excessive column inches to the mythical Juan Valdez, a clever creation of the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia in 1958.
The Valdez pitch was another stroke of marketing genius, and one hatched when the aforementioned Mr. Schultz was age one and still in diapers. However, as coffee made an ascent into consumer consciousness, it also began to be nurtured along with a very real little girl in the highlands of Vietnam. A six year-old Lan Marberry would spend many hours under a tarp between trees to work alongside her industrious father in the cultivation of coffee on their modest family farm.
Flash-forward a few decades and Ms. Marberry, who now resides in Salem, joined a trade delegation to Asia. Her perspicacity quickly led to the creation of Bon Mua Oregon of Salem, which provides coffee beans from that same family farm, a still humble but productive operation that sits roughly one mile above sea level in Southwest Vietnam.
Bon Mua Oregon has quickly ramped up its production in the past nine months, especially in supplying wholesalers in Salem, Eugene, Bend, Portland, Seattle, Southern Oregon, and Arizona its green beans. Wholesalers in these markets cater to more sophisticated coffee palates and have been quick to purchase Bon Mua Oregon’s Arabica and Robusta beans.
Salem residents who wish to enjoy Bon Mua Oregon roasted beans can currently find them at E Z Orchards Farm Market, which is located at 5504 Hazelgreen Road Northeast. More retail outlets are planned throughout the Willamette Valley and beyond. For consumers who want to purchase directly from Bon Mua Oregon, an online option exists by going to its website: bonmuaoregon.com.
Bon Mua Oregon’s founder has a soft spot for children, the elderly, as well as nonprofit causes that benefit vulnerable members of both populations. As a result, Marberry plans to dedicate ten percent to 15-percent of her company profits to those efforts. The genesis of this commitment can be traced to her working directly with the young and the old in Oregon while furthering her education in the United States.
Marberry devoted time to Meals on Wheels of Lake Oswego while attending Portland Community College and volunteered at Food for Lane County while attending the well respected School of Education at the University of Oregon. In all, she estimates that she has logged some three thousand volunteer hours, which included time in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward to help its residents bounce back from Hurricane Katrina.
“The foundation and knowledge (education provided) gives me higher strength to nurture and establish the company and manage the company,” Marberry explained.
English is not Marberry’s first language but she quickly overcame that deficit to receive a prestigious Ford Family Foundation grant to attend the U of O. Always learning in the classroom and outside the classroom, Marberry ultimately pursued an MBA at Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management.
“I (still) want to be a part of the community and community services,” Marberry said. “There are plenty of people in our community that need support,” she added.
In addition to being sensitive to the needs of the very young and the very old, Bon Mua Oregon is a model environmental steward. Marberry and her family have seen fit not to protect their crop via harmful pesticides. Instead, the family relies on flowering black pepper vines as a natural deterrent to ward off bugs interested in sampling the coffee plants themselves.
Coffee and caring are at the heart of the Bon Mua Oregon name, which translates to Four Seasons. The coffee purveyor practices this brand of compassion for people, places, and things year round.