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Antigua Coffee House Creates New Blend for Mount Washington Elementary

Antigua Cultural Coffee House and Mount Washington Elementary School have debuted the "Mount Washington Elementary Premium Blend Coffee" as an exclusive, ongoing fundraiser for the school.

When I was a young(er) parent of young(er) children, our kids had their own, personal groups of “C” foods: child-mauled Cheerios, cheesy macaroni, celery and carrot sticks, and El Pollo Loco chicken.

My own, personal “C” food group? Lots and lots and lots of coffee.

As our young tykes slalomed around Carlin G. Smith Rec Center, like-minded friends and I agreed that the only thing that could make Mount Washington better would be a clubhouse that served coffee at the top of the Hill.

The clubhouse never came to pass but java-wise, something equally swell has come to the neighborhood.  Coffee connoisseurs, caffeine addicts and supporters of local businesses and will be excited about the school’s newest fundraising effort: "Mount Washington Elementary School’s Premium Blend Coffee."

The project is the brainchild of Sharen Steele Herran, Mount Washington Elementary PTA VP of Ways and Means, and Yancey Quinones, who owns Antigua Cultural Coffee House in Cypress Park.  For the fundraiser, Antigua will be “special roasting” a coffee for the school, packaging it in eco-friendly bags, and donating 50% profit of sales of the $14, 12-oz bags to the school.

The "Mount Washington Elementary School Premium Blend" is a “rich dark roast" that was launched on February 14 with pre-orders and distributed February 21 at the Mount Washington Elementary Parent Center.  Going forward, coffee lovers will be able to buy the coffee directly from Mount Washington Elementary without pre-ordering.

More good news: Herran reports that “every season or so," Quinones will special roast a new blend that will debut with a coffee tasting--sweet treats included--to showcase the java offering, which will only be available at MWE.

Coffee aficionados know what a coup this is for Mount Washington--Antigua’s coffees are prepared from beans that Quinones roasts after bringing them back from Guatemala where his mother’s family has grown coffee on their 4,000 acre farm for generations.

Herran says Quinones has done similar “joint projects” with charter and private schools in the past but believes this is the first time that Quinones has done a coffee fundraiser for a school in the LAUSD school system.

The PTA VP is excited to be “partnering with [such] an amazing company” and praises Quinones who "never falls short when it comes to participating with community, schools, or just a general give back," adding that "Yancey Quinones is one of the most generous, participatory parents I've met here at MWE."  Offering another example of his generosity, Herran reports that Quinones , who has a daughter in kindergarten at Mount Washington Elementary, “donated all of the coffee and tea and pastries for last year's 6th annual auction.”

I too love Antigua Cultural Coffee House.  It’s my go-to stop on the rare occasions when I leave Mount Washington with giant, empty, travel mug in hand.  But I have to admit that my dream scenario is being able to walk up the Hill, buy a bag of great coffee at the end of my huff-and-puff, then brew up a fresh pot at home to drink as I wrestle with words and gaze out over the green of Mount Washington.

It’s the next best thing to a clubhouse on the Hill.

Susan R February 23, 2012 at 03:02 PM
This place is great. They have a variety of great coffee's. And, they have great goodies to go along with the coffee.
Kim Axelrod Ohanneson February 23, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Susan, thanks for the neighborhood recommendation! Is there any coffee that you particularly like?
Susan R February 23, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Columbian. If they do not have it ready they will make it special for you. But they have coffee's from a lot of different countries.
Leanna Lin Fong February 23, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Thanks Kim for reminding me of this friendly place! Definitely worth a stop when in the area again :)
Kim Axelrod Ohanneson February 23, 2012 at 09:46 PM
I've heard that Antigua is very accommodating in terms of special orders. Thanks again for responding, Susan!
Kim Axelrod Ohanneson February 23, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Thank you, Leanna Lin, and thanks for posting on FB! Owner Yancey Quinones tells me that in the future, the special blends may be available in limited amounts at the coffee house. But even aside from the special blends and the great coffee, Yancey and Antigua are examples of people making a difference in their communities. Just like Leanna Lin's Wonderland!
Susan R February 24, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Kim, Your right. They are very involved in the community. They really make you feel at home while your there.
Kim Axelrod Ohanneson February 24, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Great to hear, Susan, thanks! We can all use more community!

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