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A Religious Order of the Catholic Church

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Carmelites are a religious order of the Catholic Church. They live a life of solitude, silence, and prayer" The Wyoming Carmelite monastery was founded by Father Daniel Mary who lived as a Carmelite hermit in Minnesota before moving to Clark, Wyoming, to establish the new monastery" (Gamble).

"There are 13 monks who have dedicated their lives to prayer and worship in the Wyoming Carmelite monastery. Since the founding of the monastery, there have been over 500 inquiries from young men who are considering becoming a Wyoming Carmelite. Father Prior Daniel Mary has a vision of "turning coffee into land." This monastery would provide 30 monks a 500-acre piece of land called Irma Lake ranch, as well as a Gothic church, a convent for Carmelite nuns, a retreat center for lay visitors, and a hermitage. The current list price for this land is $8.9 million. The selection process for the acceptance into the monastery were rigorous as the new applicants needed to understand the reality of the vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty and the sacrifices associated with living a cloistered religious life" (Gamble).

A typical day in the life of a monk included waking up around 4:00 a.m. and heading to chapel for worship. The monks would then rest and contemplate in silence for about an hour around 6:00 a.m. before Father Prior began morning Mass. After Mass the monks went about their manual labors. Each monk worked up to six hours per day, however, they made time for eight hours a day spent in prayer. At 11:40 a.m., the monks stopped work and went to Chapel. After that they had lunch and went back to work. At 3:00 p.m., work stopped again for prayer and worship. The monks returned to work after, but stopped again for Vespers (evening prayer). After Vespers, the monks had an hour of silent contemplation, and evening meal, and more prayers before bedtime (Gamble).

A look into the coffee industry shows that "about 150 million consumers in the United States drank coffee, with 89 percent of the U.S. coffee drinkers brewing their own coffee at home rather than purchasing ready-to-drink coffee at coffee shops and restaurants such as Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or McDonald's. Packaged coffee for home brewing was easy to find in any grocery store and typically carried a retail price of $4 to $6 for a 12-ounce package. About 30 million coffee drinkers in the United States preferred premium-quality specialty coffees that sold for $7 to $10 per 12-ounce package. These specialty coffees are made from high-quality Arabica beans instead of the mix of low-quality Arabica beans and bitter, less flavorful Robusta beans that makers of value brands use. The wholesale price of Robusta coffee beans averaged $1.15 per pound, while mild Columbian Arabica wholesale prices averaged $1.43 per pound" (Gamble).

"Many consumers who purchase specialty coffees were willing to pay a higher price for organic, shade-grown, or fair trade coffee because of their personal health or social concerns. Organic coffees are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, shade-grown coffee plants are allowed to grow beneath the canopies of larger indigenous trees, and fair trade pricing makes it easier for farmers in developing countries to pay workers a living wage. The specialty coffee industry has grown with retail sales increasing from $8.3 billion to $13.5 billion in the last seven years. The retail sales of organic coffee accounted for about $1 billion of industry sales and had grown at an annual rate of 32 percent for each of the last seven years" (Gamble).

"Mystic Monk Coffee is produced by using high-quality fair trade Arabica and fair trade organic Arabica beans. The monks produced whole-bean and ground caffeinated and decaffeinated varieties in dark, medium, and light roasts and in different flavors. The most popular flavors were Mystical Chants of Carmel, Cowboy Blend, Royal Rum Pecan, and Mystic Monk Blend. Brother Elias, also known as, Brother Java, was the Mystic Monk Coffee's master roaster" (Gamble).

All varieties are sold through the monastery's website in 12-ounce bags for $9.95. There is an option on the website to join the "coffee club". This feature offered monthly delivery of one to six bags of preselected coffee. Also, purchases of three or more bags of coffee qualified for free shipping. There are seasonal flavored coffees featured on the website. There are different flavors of coffee for each month throughout the year, which should bring back consumers on a monthly basis to try out a variety of flavors. Another feature on the website is the selling of retail items such as T-shirts, gift cards, and coffee mugs.

"Mystic Monk Coffee produces 540 pounds of coffee per day. Father Daniel Mary would like to increase production by purchasing a new roaster that will produce 130 pounds an hour. This totals 780 pounds a day. The new roaster will cost $35,000" (Gamble). With a purchase of the new machine and demand increasing throughout the year, Father Daniel Mary will be seeing his vision come together sooner rather than later.

The business model of the Mystic Monk Coffee operation is to purchase coffee beans wholesale each week from a broker in Washington. The coffee is then roasted at the monastery and shipped out using UPS or USPS to customers who have purchased the product online.

Mystic Monk Coffee has a particular strength of producing a high-quality coffee using some of the best quality of beans. Another strength is that of a strong Catholic following.



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