Alterra: Coffee With a Conscience

alterra.gifAlterra Coffee is a local Milwaukee roaster with a reputation for the best cup around. They’re also wildly succesful despite the presence of no less than 17 nearby Starbucks franchises.
What are they doing right? Well, for one thing, they’ve returned a lot to the community, which results in loyal customers. They’ve recently begun costly renovation of a historic building that represents a direct investment in a central city neighborhood. That’s only the latest in an amazing list of civic and environmental accomplishments.

Alterra also renovated an old historic pumping station that had sat in disrepair for many years. It’s now a popular coffee stop for walkers even in the dead of winter, and doubles as an educational facility about stormwater. The facility even boasts an artificial wetland for treating runnoff from the parking lot.
It get’s even better. The company is 100% Wind Powered, as certified by the EPA, and offers education information about alternative energy on the “java jackets” served with their coffee cups.
Are they doing all this because they’re just nice people? Maybe, but there’s no question that it all helps fuel a succesful and growing business.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

One response

  1. guess who paid for the pumping station on the lakefront?
    ALTERRA is taking tax money from M ilwaukee and financing thier company

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