North Central College in the News

North Central College alumnus featured in Daily Journal

Apr 28, 2022

Brandon Malone ’18 shares insight into his own coffee business & highlights the College’s Coffee Lab as roasting location

While the word “coffee” springs to mind the likes of Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, there is coffee made in Kankakee County under the name Llama Bean Coffee Co. Bonfield native and North Central College alumnus Brandon Malone ’18 uses the help of animals on his family’s farm for work inspiration.

No, the llama, alpaca, pony, donkeys and emus are not grinding coffee beans on his parents’ Bonfield farm. Rather, one special animal, a 15-year-old llama named Barb, inspired the theme behind Llama Bean Coffee Co., with artist friends’ custom designing the llama logo and artwork.

Malone shared details about his coffee company in the Daily Journal. His involvement with the college’s coffee project eventually led him down the path to starting his own coffee business in November 2020, he said.

“The project involved forming a direct-trade partnership with coffee bean farmers in Guatemala, traveling to meet with the farmers twice per year, and paying the farmers a sustainable wage above market price for their coffee,” Malone said.

Click here to read the full article in the Daily Journal.