About Us

I started Island Java Bag  in 2010. My son actually named the company. As a single mom with a special needs child, it made outside employment difficult. The idea of making bags and totes out of up-cycled burlap coffee bags, while not new, was a good fit to start a small business from home and selling them at the local farmer's market. It was a unique product to this area of Vancouver Island.
 I also wanted a product that was eco - friendly. Using burlap coffee bags that would be thrown away  ending up in a landfill and using other materials  found second - hand fit the bill. Searching for burlap coffee bean bags, I answered an ad in the paper and found Synergy Enterprises in Victoria. They were working with  a client, Oughtred Coffee, a large local  roaster that at the time was working to become carbon neutral and landfill free. A strong relationship  developed with both of them, with Oughtred  supplying a large amount of the bags we need and Synergy Enterprises supporting me with business ideas, community support and know how. Over time I developed relationships with other coffees roasters on Vancouver Island who also supply us with bags and helps them by keeping them out of the waste stream.
This little start-up continues to a grand success. I continue to receive unbelievable support from others. They have provided invaluable training, advice and opportunities. A generous grant enabled me to get an industrial sewing machine. It has helped me free up a sewing machine to hire another single mom to help make my products. It also helps me improve productivity, product quality and will enable me to add different types of up-cycled materials and products to our line.

 Recently, I was presented with a challenge of finding a way to up-cycle the foil and plastic bags that coffee is packaged in after it is roasted. I am still working on this, but have come up with some very viable ideas. Talk about a full circle, up-cycling materials from bean to cup!
 I would like to thank all our customers, coffee roasters and  other supporters that have helped us along the way. We have met lots of great people and our products have been received better than I ever could have expected. One of the really fun things for us is how many different places around the world our bags have gone. From Norway to Rio, Calgary to Toronto, from New York City to California and many, many other places.
Jackie Kitzler