Coffee and a movie in Port Angeles, all for Andean women

PORT ANGELES — It’s a one-two punch to knock the cloudy-afternoon blues: a movie titled “Strong Coffee” and free-flowing organic, fair-trade java.

Renaissance, the cafe at 401 E. Front St. in Port Angeles, is hosting free screenings of the “Strong” documentary at 3 p.m. this Saturday and every Saturday, and pouring free Cafe Femenino coffee from an Andes mountains cooperative to go with it.

Cafe Femenino, a co-op in northern Peru, is a rare coffee-growing operation in that it is wholly owned by women.

And these women, long oppressed by the Latin American culture of machismo, have wrested control of their land, their product and their lives, said Lynn Keenan, owner of Renaissance.

“Strong Coffee” tells the story of how they broke away from the dominant business practices of the region, to build a thriving company that sells its beans throughout the United States, Canada and Australia.

Brought to PA

Cafe Femenino found its way to Port Angeles via Coffee Fest, Seattle’s annual convention of growers, roasters and cafe owners.

Keenan discovered the Peruvian beans there in 2005, and in 2008 she returned to Coffee Fest to meet the Peruvian women themselves.

Cafe Femenino’s owners encourage other business women such as Keenan to use their product to not only attract coffee connoisseurs, but also to raise money for local charities that serve women and families.

So while Keenan and her baristas promise that Cafe Femenino will be poured for free during the Saturday movie, they hope guests will consider drinking, or giving, more of it.

Renaissance has entered into a partnership with the First Step Family Support Center of Port Angeles, a provider of services ranging from parenting classes to smoking cessation to a “first books” program for preschoolers.

The cafe will give $3 from every 1-pound bag of Cafe Femenino and $2 from every 12-ounce bag to First Step in support of its new building being constructed next door to the center at 325 E. Sixth St.

$10,000 goal

Keenan hopes to raise $10,000 over the coming year — the cost of naming a room inside the new First Step center the Cafe Femenino room.

Cherie Reeves Sperr, First Step’s development manager, has previewed “Strong Coffee,” and was understandably delighted with the connection between the Peruvian women and the women who are First Step’s clients.

“We hear so much about ‘Drink organic coffee,'” Sperr said. “This [documentary] really brought it home for me. It was powerful.”

For information about First Step’s programs, phone 360-457-8355 or visit For details about Cafe Femenino and “Strong Coffee” screenings, phone Renaissance at 360-565-1199.


Sequim-Dungeness Valley reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-681-2391 or at

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