Vero Beach, Florida is not only home to a beautiful beach, but to lush mangroves, upscale shopping, and thousands of snowbirds during the winter months. It also has a coffee shop that imports coffee beans from around the world and donates its profits to a missionary project, Project Ezra which helps fund indigenous Central American children’s proper schooling. This is Vero Beach’s Rio Coco Beans and Cafe.
A Coffee Shop and Restaurant You Should Visit
Laura and Michael, owners of Rio Coco Beans and Cafe, have lived in Vero Beach for 12 years. Their whole family works at the store, on 43rd Avenue. Since this is not in a touristy part of town, Rio Coco Beans relies entirely on locals to support their endeavor. Although Rio Coco Beans and Cafe does not have the greatest curb appeal, the inside does not disappoint. Upon walking into Rio Coco Beans, you are transported to the tropics. There are enough seating arrangements for dozens of guests and the decor is more thrift shop savvy than most of Vero Beach’s establishments. It works perfectly!
Breakfast and lunch menus are available at the counter, where you will place your order. Rio Coco Beans offers daily specials, which are generally new recipes; be sure to try them out. Their drink menu (including specialty coffee drinks, smoothies, teas, and fruit drinks) will knock your socks off! Bonus, Rio Coco Cafe offers coffee beans from around the world, and they are all roasted on the premises.
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Dining at Rio Coco Beans and Cafe
On my visit, I had the Turkey Coconut Curry bowl. It was fantastic; big bold curried turkey taste with a coconut milk rice base…I could eat that every day! Being a fan of Asian inspired dishes (especially curries), I ate every bite of it. Other lunch items at Rio Coco Beans included sandwiches, salads, panini, and wraps. The staff works out of a tiny kitchen so it may take a few minutes to prepare your order. During your wait, check out the restaurant’s Project Ezra pictures on the walls.
World-Famous Coffee Selections
Rio Coco Beans is best known for their coffee. The family buys fair-trade coffee beans from all over the world (high altitude coffee from Nicaragua, Honduras, and Ethiopia, plus others) and grinds/roast the beans onsite. The staff likes to experiment with coffee concoctions, so their menu is appealing even to non-coffee drinkers. Rio Coco Beans sells individual bags of coffee, too.
Why does Rio Coco Beans go through all of this trouble to bring coffee from all over the world into their establishment? Because they are on a non-profit mission to support and raise money for the the Miskito indigenous tribe’s school project. The Miskito tribe is on the Atlantic Coast (Coco River) of Honduras and Nicaragua. Rio Coco Beans oversees Project Ezra and the Seek the Lamb mission non-profit corporation. They help make it possible for children of this tribe to receive school supplies, teachers, and a facility for schooling purposes. Ask Laura or Michael about their project and watch their hearts open up as they tell you their fascinating story.
Vero Beach is Lucky to Have a Business Like Rio Coco Beans and Cafe
It took me years to visit Rio Coco Beans and Cafe, but it will only take me days to return. The food was fabulous and very reasonably priced. It was a nice break from Vero Beach’s typical coffee shop offerings. The vibe at Rio Coco Beans is wonderful and I would love to work on the blog from their cozy chairs, especially since there is free Wi-Fi. Not in the mood to work? No worries! Relax and work one of Rio Coco Bean’s puzzles or play a game stacked throughout the restaurant.
On Tuesdays, enjoy listening to live music from Jersi, a young girl with a golden voice and amazing talent for playing the ukulele. She plays from 11AM-2PM. Rio Coco Beans has Dessert and Open Mic night on Wednesdays, staying open until 8 PM.
Thanks to Rio Coco Beans for hosting me for this visit. As with all of my posts, opinions and reviews are 100% my own and unbiased.
Check out our other Vero Beach restaurant reviews: