Shopping fair trade

Jake Fredericks

Here’s a quick reference guide for when you’re hunting for establishments that offer fair trade foods, or are looking for some retailers that carry fair trade products.

Compartes Chocolatier: If you’ve got a sweet tooth, head down to Brentwood’s Compartes Chocolatier, located at 912 S. Barrington Ave. Young-gun chocolatier Jonathan Grahm continues to uphold Compartes’  64-year tradition for making handcrafted chocolates and delectable, edible treats. Stop in for any one (or two) of their chocolate bars, unique truffles or signature “Love Nuts.” The store and “chocolate factory” are open Mon.- Sat. from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., and closed Sunday to allow the confectionary gnomes to rest their weary hands. For additional information regarding the store’s fair trade ingredients and chocolate products call (310) 826-3380.

Starbucks: When you’re feeling guilty about how much Starbucks you consume on a weekly basis, consider the fact that they (in part) support fair trade. The coffee giant is no slouch when it comes to procuring quality ingredients, and their Italian Roast pays homage to fair trade sourcing. The Starbucks website recommends enjoying a cup of this dark, robust brew with “tiramisu and a slideshow of Rome.” Unfortunately, the closest you may get in LA is cream and two sugars with a tortuous landscape of city traffic.

M Street Coffee: Don’t like spending your money at conglomerate coffee chains such as the aforementioned? Then you’ll enjoy the mum and pop feel of M Street Coffee, located at 13251 Moorpark St., while sipping on that morning cup of java. The baristas here will happily fix you up a cup of your favorite coffee or espresso beverage with one of their fair trade roasts. Make it a complete breakfast and choose from a baked-daily assortment of muffins, biscotti, or even a flaky, homemade “pop-tart.” M Street Coffee also promotes eco-friendliness with a recyclable cup/sleeve option for customers.

Follow Your Heart Natural Foods Market & Cafe: This quaint neighborhood grocer/cafe is a great place to grab a bite to eat on the way to/from campus. What’s more, is that their toys and trinket section stocks items that are produced under fair trade regulations. You get what you pay for here, so don’t let the pricing deter you from purchasing a few, one-of-a-kind knickknacks. Like M Street Coffee, Follow Your Heart’s focus is imbued by eco-friendliness, as the store is “powered by the sun” from their solar-powered manufacturing facility they call Earth Island®.

Essential Living Foods: This Culver City fruits and vegetables retailer’s mission is to “improve the health of the planet, its people and their communities.” You can’t get much more fair trade than that. They have almost anything you could ask for, from organic almond butter to raw goji berries, and even carry eco-friendly personal hygiene products, such as lotions and conditioners.