July 29, 2008

Dominicans plan fair trade store and coffee shop

A Fair Trade store sponsored by Racine Dominican sisters will open downtown on Oct.1. It will include a retail store called Just Trade, next door to a fair trade coffee shop called Cup of Hope.

The address will be announced as soon as contracts are signed. The store will help finance related HOPES Center ministries, including mental health, AODA treatment, and wellness services for low-income people.

Volunteers are needed to make the store a reality. If you can provide one or more of the services below, contact Sisters Ann Pratt or Lisa Kane at 633-0751.
-Sept. 1-Oct. 1 we need a licensed electrician and licensed plumber and people good with other construction skills to help remodel the buildings. A general contractor will direct the work and ensure that all codes are met etc.

-Sept. 6 (Sat.) we need lots of help to paint.

-Sept. 7 (Sun.) St. Andrew Lutheran Church on 4 Mile is having a Fair Trade sale as part of their Harvest Days. We need people to work selling our merchandise.

-We need a board member experienced in finance, and anyone else willing to serve on the board.

-At the last minute we will need help unpacking merchandise and stocking shelves.

-Once the store opens we will need 60-80 regular volunteers to assist paid staff in staffing the store in 4-hour rotating shifts, and with ongoing maintenance.
Two garage sales have been planned to help us raise funds: Saturday, Aug. 2, at 7917 39th Ave. in Kenosha, and Saturday, Sept. 6, at 414 Romayne Ave. in Racine. Set-up and clean-up volunteers are needed, as are customers willing to spend a lot of money. If you have items to donate, call Sister Ann at 633-0751.

The project's next organizational meeting will be Thursday, Aug. 7, at 6:30 p.m., in the Siena Center small dining room.


  1. Winter witch7/29/2008 6:20 PM

    This is just such a fantastic idea, we will see where we can do the most good in this venture!

  2. At face value this appears to be a great idea - fair trade retail alongside the Cup of Hope coffee shop. I thought that downtown area is saturated with for-profit coffee shops, one or two having financial struggles of their own. I’m wondering where the 60-80 regular volunteers to staff the operations will materialize from. Another long time shop that depended upon a couple of paid staff also with heavy volunteer commitments closed their doors permanently in the past two years. That organization also provided funding to various human services organizations.
    Good luck, but history is not on your side.

  3. What is a "fair trade" store. How does it differ from any other (unfair trade?) store downtown?

  4. Here's the definition from Wikipedia:

    "Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach to alleviating global poverty and promoting sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a fair price as well as social and environmental standards in areas related to the production of a wide variety of goods. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, and flowers." Read more HERE.

  5. I'm sorry, but reading this makes my blood boil. I don't want to dump on the Racine Post's blogs, so I will try to keep this civil. In high school I knew Dominican sisters who covered for, lied for, and made excuses for a Dominican pedo-priest. I knew one sister who regularly got drunk at the pedo-priest's house. I was 15 years old and witnessing these horrors while also being taught about "love, honesty, faith, hope" in religion classes. I have no respect for these hypocrites, NONE. Until the Roman Catholic Church actually DOES something about the sickness that pervades its hierarchy, anything they say or do is ashes in the mouth. Stop pointing fingers at others Dominican sisters until you clean up the horrid, fetid mess in your own backyard. Your cries for "social justice" are disgusting in their hypocrisy. If you really believe in God, why would you think He is conned by your lies?

  6. And the Vatican sits on billions of dollars worth of stolen loot, but apparently not one penny of that is for "social justice" or poverty. I literally shiver when I think about this.

    OK, I'll stop now.

  7. orbscorbs -
    I usually don't agree with you and have often seen you as mean-spirited, but your sincere posting changed my perspective a bit. Thank you for your honesty and sharing your experience.

    I do question the "fair trade" approach, not because of the association with the "sisters", but is this really HELPFUL to the developing counties, or is it just piling on more American BS that they are going to have to swim out of someday?

  8. OrbsCorbs - I'm wondering if we went to the same high school? I could relay many a horror story myself, actually some began in grade school, but you've probably done it better than I could.

    It's ironic how we constantly hear there has to be "separation of church and state". A concept which actually DOESN'T exist in the Constitution, but was rather included in a letter from Thomas Jefferson. Yet, our Racine Dominicans have no problem being political activists. Just a continuation of the blatant hypocrisy, and quite honestly, part of the reason the Catholic Church struggles.

  9. Urban Pioneer8/05/2008 8:47 AM

    Dear Sister's "I have friends in the Coffee Business". Remember your silly "I have friends in Iraq" lapel pins??
    Maybe the good Sister's should open a Coffee Shop in an area that doesn't already have plenty. May I suggest down near Wells Brothers and Totero's. That area could use your "do-gooderism" To put a non-profit coffee shop in a neighborhood with several "for profit" Coffee shops is Rude. I hope we will all collectively boycott this arrogance. As a Coffee drinker who is downtown nearly every day, I will not patronize that business. And when people ask for a recommendation I assure U I will send them to any of the others in the city. The Dominican's stand against everything that makes America great, Capitalism, Freedom, etc. I understand you want to promote "Fair trade" but your not "trading fair" in the community you live in!

  10. Urban Pioneer8/09/2008 2:00 PM

    "FAIR TRADE" is NOT the Answer!!

    If U want to lift people out of poverty, pay for what they produce, don't just give them money or artificially high income because they subscribe to some Union rule. Capitalism and human liberty will eventually spread worldwide. Even in China they can't keep the genie in the bottle. Having a bunch of "volunteers" working in this coffee shop will actually reduce the value of anyone else who works and gets paid in a competitive coffee shop. How about opening a FAIR TRADE pub instead, and apply the same rules!! It would be ridiculous!

  11. I have shown some of these Dominicans Nuns legitimate martyrs and they don't want to confront the truth. Anyone who reads this can look up "Voice of the Martyrs" on the web and see Christians all over the world who are being maimed and killed for their faith in Christ Jesus. The sisters are only worried about Christian killers and people who sneak into our country illegally.
    If the good sisters and I mean trying to get into Heaven on your good works (just listen to the gobildy-goop of Benda Walsh) sisters would pick up the Bible and read Proverbs once in a while; they would see that fools are mentioned many times by King Solomon.
    A coffee shop in the inner city would be a ministry. But a coffee shop in a working-citizen area like downtown is like a cafeinated bingo game where nobody ever loses.
    Jesus never said that the world was fair. That is why in John 17 He says we, who are His, are in the world not of the world. Sisters who continually forsake their Savior Jesus for their good works are stuck in the wardrobe of very bad HABITS.