The Coldwater co-op brings farm-fresh produce and coffee to Avondale

Just off the highway in the West Valley, cars pass through downtown Avondale. Historic buildings line the street, begging to be reused, but many remain empty.

One old white and yellow house is different. The Coldwater Coffeehouse & Bakery buzzes with activity.

On any given day, the co-op team starts early. Baker David Martinez prepares bread. Barista Angels Durazo makes coffee. Head cook Anthony Aragon assembles sandwiches and salads. Kalila Martinez de Aragon crafts pastries. And out back, farmer Jonathan Flores tends the vegetables growing in his garden.

“Most of our recipes start in a seed catalog, not in a recipe or a cookbook,” Aragon chef and ringleader said. “I look at seed catalogs and see oh, this is the chard that’s favored by chefs. So then I’ll ask Johnny, hey can you grow that?”

Finding beneficial ways to help each other is something of a mission statement for Coldwater Coffee. Insects help grow the garden. The garden fuels the kitchen. And the community benefits from the space. As the business grows, so will the town of Avondale, at least that’s the hope.

It began with reviving a historic building

Head cook and co-owner of Coldwater Coffeehouse and Bakery, Anthony Aragan, poses for a photo in the kitchen at Coldwater on April 1, 2022, in Avondale, Arizona.

The Coldwater opened in 2021, but it has been a work in progress since 2017. The team is experimenting with a cooperative business model — four out of the five are owners and Durazo is a member-in-training — and a supply chain where ingredients are grown in the garden, cooked in the kitchen and sold in the cafe. But it all began with a hometown mission.

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