Featured Artist — Joel Froehle
Show runs: Nov 2 - Jan 11
Statement: The plate on the wall functions as both an image and an object. As an image, these abstract compositions might conjure horizon lines, rows of crops, reaching tendrils, or a meandering river.
At the same time these are utilitarian objects and we understand their function as servers of nourishment. The plate on the table is a symbol of the home, of generosity, and hospitality. They are containers of sustenance on both a physical and metaphorical level. When used as such the image dissolves and the physicality of the object dominates.
For me, this is the fascinating space that functional ceramics occupies. The complexity of these dual roles provides an opportunity for me the maker to engage the viewer/user on both an intellectual and physical level.
Process: This group of work starts as thick slabs of earthenware that I smooth and shape to define the interior and rim. This is allowed to partially dry before the back side is carved away to reveal the final form. I layer ceramic underglazes, stains and glazes to create varied surfaces. These plates are food, dishwasher and microwave safe.
We Connect Makers, Growers & Community
To Our Customers—
As of January 1, 2015, we will begin paying our employees not just a living but a livable wage. To accomplish this increase in hourly pay rates we are increasing prices and eliminating the practice of tipping at the café. We believe that by creating a sustainable pricing model to support the quality of our products and staff we offer a positive (and delicious!) experience in a way that gratuity-driven service simply cannot.
As the owners, we are an integral part of Kopplin's, but so too are our talented employees. Sharing the work of the café deepens our commitment to them, which is to create a secure and fulfilling role for those who choose to stay with us. In doing so, we make our coffee house a better place for every person who sets foot inside. As we seek to create this alternative to standard 'service industry' chains, we choose to provide fair compensation (exceeding the "living wage" of $9.69 in Ramsey County). This validates the good work of our employees and creates a more stable and equitable pay environment for these people who bring beauty into our lives with the creation of their hands.
In 2006, Kopplin's Coffee opened with a vision based on a philosophy of good taste and real community. Over time the principles of the shop have evolved and strengthened to form the backbone of the café that exists today. We're here to provide a location, a unique space, standing opposed to the prevailing narrative that reduces people to consumers. We imagine a community of people in collaboration, with customers and staff learning from each other. We are excited to announce this latest step Kopplin's is taking toward making our vision more concrete.
We call Kopplin's our "public house," a focal point of community. We welcome you to linger over a cup and conversation with us.
Andrew & Amanda Kopplin, Owners
The Latest News on Our Farmers & Products
In April we will be transitioning from Castle Rock Organic Dairy to Kalona SuperNatural. We didn’t want you to see the glass bottles disappear out of the blue and get worried. Instead, you can be sure that we did our research to find a dairy that could offer the quality we are all used to at a price that fits our business – without any compromise. When it became apparent we would need to find a new dairy supplier, in some sense we knew right where to go. Both at home (buttermilk, butter, cottage cheese) and at the shop (yogurt), we’ve come to really enjoy Kalona products. While working with them to get their milk to the Twin Cities, we’ve become even more confident that we found someone who can and will work with us to produce something great. We are excited about Kalona products coming to our shop and want to share a little more about what we’ve learned.
Here’s some information about our new milk:
• Our values: This milk upholds the standards we have set for the dairy at the shop: organic, grass-fed, non-homogenized, vat-pasteurized, and produced by small Midwest farms.
• Business practices: Kalona works with about 50 Amish and Mennonite farms in the Kalona, IA area to bring their minimally processed milk to market. They take the support of these small farms seriously, using the growth in the organic market to grow their farms and business in a sustainable manner. Kalona is searching for creative ways to grow production, including a new Kickstarter campaign to create pastureland for non-producing dairy cows. We believe the milk blended from these small farms will create both a highly delicious and consistent product – the samples have certainly lived up to their promise.
• Plastic bottles: Kalona did their homework about the expense and carbon cost of shipping glass bottles to and from their creamery. It turned out to be high. In response they designed and contracted the production of their own plastic bottles to create a container that is highly recyclable, BPA and BPS free, and consumes less fuel in shipping.
Still wondering, “Why the change?” Here’s a little more background:
The demand for organic milk has grown immensely. This has produced a shortage in the supply of organic milk, leading to higher prices. It takes time to grow an organic farm and increase production. This puts pressure on organic farms, causing a variety of reactions. To contend with this flux in the organic dairy industry, Castle Rock made the decision to support their farm through a significant price increase (beyond standard annual adjustments). The new pricing is not sustainable for the shop, leading us to search for options to better meet our needs at this time.
We feel we’ve found a great fit with Kalona. Andrew has talked with them extensively and is confident they are a sound and sustainable business, well-suited to be featured in our beverages. We appreciate your commitment to Kopplin’s and take our responsibility to source quality products seriously. We hope you’ll let us know if you have any questions about this change. Cheers to enjoying many more delicious beverages together!
Andrew & Amanda Kopplin, Owners