Ridebuzz and Dean’s Beans join forces

Dozens of students lined up to get the world’s first taste of a new flavor of coffee as two local companies announced their partnership during a marketing class at the University of Massachusetts on Monday afternoon.

In Mahar Auditorium, Ridebuzz.org founder Jeffrey D. Brown and Dean’s Beans founder Dean Cycon unveiled the new ‘Community Supporting Ridebuzz Coffee’ before the Isenberg School of Management’s Introduction to Marketing course, taught by professor Doron Goldman.

Ridebuzz, based out of Amherst, is a non-profit organization that helps residents in the Pioneer Valley, including students at the Five Colleges, carpool‘ by providing them with a’ free ridesharing website, ridebuzz.org, where people can connect in a format similar to online social networking.

Dean’s Beans, of Orange, Mass., is a fair-trade and organic coffee roasting company that supports the farmers from whom they get their coffee beans through People-Centered Development projects.

All profits from the sale of Ridebuzz Coffee will be donated to support its rideshare program.

Some of the students in Goldman’s class, and all 30 from his Sales and Distribution Strategy class, will work with Ridebuzz during the spring semester to help the carpooling company and give the students some real-world experience.

‘Students will be honing their environmentally and socially responsible business skills while working with Ridebuzz,’ said a statement from Ridebuzz.

Following the coffee’s introduction and announcing the two companies joining together, Cycon gave a presentation on what Dean’s Beans does to help coffee growers.

Cycon said he started out as a lawyer because he wanted to use the profession as his way of bringing justice to the world, but found that being a lawyer was not for him.

‘I realized nothing in the planet would ever change unless business changed the way it operates,’ Cycon said.

The coffee comes in two flavors, dark roasted Nicaraguan, and a medium roasted Colombian.

Students poured cups of the new coffee and commented on its debut.

‘If I pictured coffee in my head, this is what it would taste like,’ said junior Chris Perruzzi, an accounting major.

‘This coffee is exceptional,’ agreed Robert Doane, a junior majoring in finance.

Others felt the fresh brew was not bad, but not up to par with well-known brands like Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks.

‘I think it needs to be fine tuned a bit,’ said junior management major Ron Aylward.

Ridebuzz Coffee will be carried by local businesses. River Valley Market in Northampton will the first to offer it.

The beverage can be purchased online at www.ridebuzz.org/coffee.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at [email protected]