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Small Business Spotlight: Café Monte Alto

By Justin Hardesty; For The Clock
On April 24, 2016

Small Business Spotlight: Café Monte Alto

Justin Hardesty

For The Clock

Need a place to go between classes, or a cup of coffee to get you through the rest of your day? Well, you won’t have to go very far from campus to get there.

Conveniently located between the Lucky Dog and Samahas is Cafe Monte Alto. The cafe opened in downtown Plymouth in 1997 and shares building space with Chase Street Market and Biederman’s, creating a sense of community in this already tight-knit town.

Once inside Cafe Monte Alto, you’ll be welcomed by excellent service, friendly faces, and the warm, cozy atmosphere that embodies the frontline of business. The walls in front of the ordering counter and hot coffee bar present work made by local artists this month's artwork showing off beautiful photography from the Community Photography Club.

The Giunta family has owned and operated Cafe Monte Alto for three generations now. Coffee used for business comes from their coffee plantation in Peru, which was up and running in 1936. 100% fair-trade and 100% shade-grown coffee is the only coffee this family will use. Fair-trade coffee is the lowest possible coffee price. One pound of coffee beans can be bought from the farmers in Peru, and right now the price stands at $1.26/pound, “but we always buy above the minimum price,” said owner Mickey Guinta. “It really helps out the farmers in Peru, helping their local economy.” The 100% shadegrown coffee ensures a better environment on the plantation. Water used in production is also filtered as enters back into the environment, limiting the overall amount used.

Before coming to Plymouth, the Giunta family lived in Peru and saw firsthand the terrorism, deteriorating schools, and harsh sanitary conditions locals dealt with on a daily basis. That’s why Cooperu was started in 2004, a non-profit organization that first donated a dollar from every bag of coffee bought in Cafe Monte Alto. As bags of coffee were sold, local residents caught wind and began approaching Mickey with checks and other forms of donations to raise money for the reconstruction of schools and clinics in Peru.

Cafe Monte Alto brings back regulars on a daily basis, whether it be other local business owners, or residents and students. “It’s an exceptional community to be part of, truly great,” said Mickey. Maybe due to their punch card, where you get a free coffee after 10 purchases, the local art, or friendly faces; who knows? Why don’t you head in and decide for yourself! Cafe Monte Alto is open seven days a week from 6am to 6pm. Visit their new website for more information at



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