Hampton Coffee Company announced this week that they are now exclusively using freshly-cracked, cage-free eggs throughout their entire menu in all four of their espresso bar and café locations in The Hamptons and North Fork. In fact, the company points out, they’ve been cage-free since the beginning of 2016.
According to Hampton Coffee Co., they are among a select few local East End bakeries and coffee cafés to make the switch.
And The Humane Society of the United States, which has been campaigning for restaurants to use more humane food sources, says large chains such as Starbucks and Panera are on the right track—but they won’t be serving cage-free eggs until 2020. Additionally, Dunkin’ Donuts, which has numerous East End locations, including Bridgehampton, Southampton, Wainscott and Riverhead, isn’t changing until at least 2025, according to The Humane Society’s research.
That same research notes that Burger King, which has restaurants in Southampton and Riverhead, is switching to 100% cage-free eggs by 2017, and McDonald’s—which purchases nearly 4% of all eggs in the country—announced last fall that the chain is switching all of the 2 billion eggs it uses annually to cage-free by 2025.
“…we are on the cusp of a major turn in the road when it comes to agriculture and food,” Humane Society president and CEO Wayne Pacelle said in a blog last year. “We are getting closer to the end of the era of intensive confinement of animals on factory farms. And the biggest arena of change is in the corporate sector,” he continued, adding, “A cage-free future awaits.”
The changes are all part of a shifting world consciousness, as evidenced by the end of elephants at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and the phasing out of orca shows at SeaWorld. And in the smaller world of local businesses, Hampton Coffee is among those leading the charge to this more humane future for animals.
Meanwhile, local celebrities, such as Alec Baldwin, are helping spread the word about cruelty in corporate slaughterhouses. Baldwin recently appeared in a video for the Mercy for Animals group about the deplorable practices at Tyson Foods. Watch it here.
“For us at Hampton Coffee Company, making the switch to cage-free eggs is not only the right thing to do morally, but it also will ensure that the products we serve our customers continue to remain the top quality,” Hampton Coffee’s Catering Manager Samantha Southard says. “The fact that our eggs come from cage-free chickens means that each egg is code stamped and can be tracked directly back to the farm it came from. This is the same standard we practice when we deal directly with the coffee bean farmers that provide the beans that are ultimately roasted and blended, by us…”
Studies show that cage-free chickens experience less stress since they can roost and socialize freely, participate in their usual chicken behaviors and pecking orders, and lay their eggs in dark, quiet nests. The eggs that Hampton Coffee Company now purchases are gathered directly from those nests, placed into a cooler, and then farm coded and processed.
“Being that we are completely cage-free, this means that when you stop into any of our four local cafés to enjoy your Hampton Coffee Company breakfast…you are being served eggs that have come from happy and humanely-treated chickens,” company co-owner Jason Belkin says, noting that Hampton Coffee is absorbing the increased costs of using cage-free eggs so that their customers can enjoy the better eggs without having to pay more for their breakfast.
To buy your own free-range eggs (chicken or duck) locally, visit Iacono Farm at 100 Long Lane in East Hampton.
Hampton Coffee Company has locations in Water Mill (869 Montauk Hwy.), Southampton (749 County Road 39A), Westhampton Beach (194 Mill Road) and Aquebogue (272 Main Road). Visit hamptoncoffeecompany.com for more details, including menus.