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      Bearded Apple coffee shop benefits local economy

      It??s music in the ears of any coffee connoisseur.

      But at The Bearded Apple coffee shop in Iron River, the mission behind that glorious brew will make any latte taste golden. ??We started as a non-profit cooperative to benefit the community, to revitalize the community, and bring businesses into the community,?? said Glen Waarvik, executive director of the shop.

      So as a non-profit, The Bearded Apple's purpose is to directly assist businesses in the Iron County area. ??All the profits from the coffee shop are going to go into a trust fund at the end of the year. People from the community and small businesses can come to us and say, 'Hey, I need some money to start a business,?? or ??I need some money to expand out,???? Waarvik said.

      From there, the inquiring business presents a plan, secures approval by the board and the members of the cooperative, and then receives the financial help needed. ??It??s the community deciding what the community gets."

      And by purchasing beans directly from a farmer in Guatemala and then roasting them in-house, this cooperative shows to the community that it's not just about profit or even a good cup of coffee, "but people are really latching onto the idea of what we're trying to do. They don't want to see the community fade away," Waarvik said.

      The Bearded Apple can be found on Facebook or at thebeardedapple.com and is located at 419 Washington Avenue in Iron River.