Kaapittiaq Keeps Inuit Culture Alive Through Coffee

A new Arctic coffee shop has a mission to keep Inuit traditions alive. Kaapittiaq—which means “good coffee” in Inuinnaqtun—is a newly opened coffee company in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, owned and operated by the non-profit Kitikmeot Heritage Society. The society’s board is made up of local elders, who will directly use 75% of revenue from the Kaapittiaq to fund initiatives to keep Inuit traditions alive through teaching parka- and qulliq-making workshops and teaching children the Inuinnaqtun language. Green coffee is sourced from San Francisco, Peru, in partnership with Café Vasquez, from indigenous farmers, and then shipped to Barrie, Ontario, where the coffee is roasted and packaged by Beaver Rock Roastery. Bags of Kaapittiaq coffee are now being distributed to grocery stores throughout the Arctic region. Elders hope that the company can one day open its own roastery, and employ local community members.