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Novo Coffee teams up with the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking to throw a party tonight

Two months ago, Herb Brodsky, co-founder of Novo Coffee, was introduced to Meagan Morris, research assistant of the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking, through a mutual friend.

"I got an e-mail from Heather Larabee at Whole Foods, and she thought the vibes of our company, like our work with the community and our farmers, really fit with this organization," says Brodsky. So, she said, "'Maybe the two of you can put something together.'"

Brodsky was interested, and Morris was intrigued by the idea, too. Her organization works to stop human trafficking through education, training, community-based research and collaboration. Certain industries, she says, are prone to supporting trafficking -- and that's where a consumer can make a difference.

"People start to get to know issues of human trafficking through commodities like coffee and chocolate," she explains. "So we can use that to educate people on what kinds of trafficking are here in Colorado and help them get to know suppliers that aren't involved. Then they can make informed consumer decisions, which moves everything one step further down the road." That made Novo a perfect fit as a partner, since the coffee roaster goes to great lengths to get to know its growers, insuring the company doesn't participate in trafficking. Understanding which companies are like Novo, Morris says, is the key to making the right choice at the grocery store.

With that in mind, Novo and the LCHT will throw a fundraising party tonight at the Novo roasting facility on 30th and Larimer. A full 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the non-profit -- and Morris says the local restaurant community has really stepped up to help out. Novo will pour coffee samples, and Morris says she's landed beer from Great Divide plus food from several area restaurants, including Fuel Cafe, Whole Foods, Sugar Bakeshop, Hops and Pie, Fat Sully's, Cream City Treats, Hutch and Spoon, Ya Ya's and Cuba Cuba. Local bands Love Royale, The Blackout Beat and Bad Weather California will provide live music by way of entertainment, and there will be all sorts of prizes to win, like gift certificates from Vine Street Pub, Tables and Park Hill Neighbors, the new tapas bar in Park Hill.

"It's gonna be a great party," says Brodsky. "Great food, great music, great group. We're expecting about half a million people!"

The party runs from 5 to 11 p.m. If you want to attend, you'll need to RSVP on the organization's website. The suggested donation is $25.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk

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