Home Coffee shop Christine Ucich creates community space through coffee, volunteering and wellness

Christine Ucich creates community space through coffee, volunteering and wellness

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By Jenn McCulloch/Zip06.com • 03/09/2022 08:30 AM EST

Until the end of this month, residents can help fund the restoration of the Old Stone Church steeple while supporting a local business and getting their caffeine fix. For the fourth time, One World Roasters has created a community mix to benefit an organization in East Haven, where store owners Christine Ucich and Eric Ciolino have lived since 2015.

“For me, although it is the church and its building, this building – more than any other building in the city except perhaps the town hall – is a major icon for East Haven, so repairs are really important,” says Christine. “We have to keep this building in good condition for the city.”

After Christine saw the announcement of the needed restoration in the Courier, she contacted Pastor Mark Pilletere, who she said was “very excited” about One World Roasters creating a community blend that profits to the restoration fund. Once Old Stone Coffee Blend was created, members of the church community were invited for a tasting with nearly two dozen attendees.

“They not only got to taste the blend, but also learned about the health benefits of coffee,” says Christine. “The church has a great membership and this has been our most successful community blend to date.”

Community Blends began in 2020 with One World Roasters creating unique blends for each of the three community organizations it supported. The first partnership was with the Shoreline Greenway Trail with a Wintergreen Blend, inspired by the outdoors.

Christine and her husband then created East Haven Strong Coffee Blend with proceeds going to the Town Green Beautification Project. Proceeds from the third mix went to Clean Up East Haven, one of the first groups Christine got involved with after moving to town.

“We always think about community spaces and we really believe in creating spaces and supporting community spaces,” says Christine. “We use the Shoreline Greenway Trail in town and other towns and the green is a beautiful part of town. We want where we are to be a better place for us and for everyone else.

Christine and her husband had lived in town for several years. One World Roasters began after Ciolino fell in love with roasting coffee while visiting Italy. The business started out selling online, but when the couple found the historic North High Street property in East Haven, they saw an opportunity for growth.

Since purchasing the property, the couple have worked to make repairs and improvements, drawing on Ciolino’s experience as a landscaper. They now not only have their on-site roastery, but also a cafe and One World Wellness where Christine teaches Sundo, a type of yoga and meditation practice that originated in Korea. They also live on the property.

With both the cafe and the wellness studio, Christine focuses on “creating space” for the community.

“One World Roasters started with a coffee roaster and a dream,” says Christine. “The cafe is a space where people can come and meet a friend and attend an event and One World Wellness offers a practice space.”

Christine has been involved with Sundo since 1997, initially drawn by her interest in meditation. She worked to get her certificate, which she earned in 2004, went to Korea to become a senior instructor in 2013, and became a teacher in 2018.

“It’s very much like a yoga and meditation practice and is really good for helping you breathe so you have slower, deeper breathing, which is good for your parasympathetic nervous system and puts your body into relaxation mode” , says Christine, who previously taught at West Hartford. “Sundo has a belt system and your posture and breathing change with each level with deeper breathing as you progress through the levels.”

In addition to teaching her classes, Christine volunteers with Sundo International, a Vermont-based non-profit retreat center. She not only works on advertising and with different presenters, but spends time there volunteering during the warmer months.

Christine, who is a member of the Democratic Town Committee, was recently appointed to the East Haven Recreation Commission. She plans to “use my programming background” by working with Liz Franco-Spano, the new director of recreation, to bring new fitness and holistic health programs to the recreation department.

Of course, Christine can also be found at the café of One World Roasters, of which she is the manager. She works closely with the three baristas, who also help with things like marketing, social media and graphic design. The One World Roasters and One World Wellness logo is based on yin yang.

“The logo was born from the idea of ​​unity and the yin yang represents balance and wholeness”, explains Christine. “This applies to our coffee because it is fair trade, organic and helps people throughout the supply chain and to One World Wellness, which tries to bring people back to a calm, relaxed state and achieve peace of mind and feeling satisfied—a feeling of wholeness.

For more information, visit One World Roasters at 967 North High Street or online at www.oneworldroasters.com.