Small Business Owner Hosts Buffalo River Cleanup

Hot Springs native Kyle Tabor has always had an affinity for an adventurous lifestyle. After growing up in the Spa City, Tabor made the short move to Conway where he would attend the University of Central Arkansas. He decided to take some time to travel after getting his degree, which is when Tabor noticed himself falling in love with the local coffee shops at each destination, as well as the support that each community gave those shops.

Embracing the natural wonders of the world also helped Tabor recognize the importance of keeping these destinations around for others to enjoy. He decided to come back to Conway and set out on the biggest adventure of his life – creating a coffee brand that would emphasize his life’s mission to “adventure more.”

“I believe that through adventure, we learn more about ourselves and the world around us,” Tabor said.

Tabor officially opened Blue Sail Coffee in 2014 with a much deeper objective than selling a great cup of coffee – he wanted to promote the need for nature conservation in an effort to preserve the planet’s captivating beauty. In order to accomplish this, he knew he needed to start at home. Thus began the inspiration to partner with the Arkansas Buffalo River, aiming to preserve everything it has to offer.

“One thing I’ve learned in my travels and want to share with people is that one of the most beautiful places on the planet is the Buffalo River in the spring,” he explained. “We initially started this conservation program three years ago because the river was endangered at the time, and here I am, traveling the world when we have this gem right in our own backyard.”

Blue Sail Coffee began donating to the Buffalo River Foundation in 2020, and decided to kick it up a notch this year by leading a cleanup of the river. The coffee shop plans to close its doors for the upcoming weekend in order to launch its Buffalo River cleanup initiative. The event will take place at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch from Feb. 4 through Feb. 6. Tabor and his team plan to partner with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Parks and Recreation and Keep Arkansas Beautiful to clean pounds of trash and raise awareness that Arkansans need to help preserve the once endangered river.

Buffalo River

Photo Credit: National Park Service

“We are hoping this cleanup will help raise awareness. We believe between 30 and 50 people will show up to help our cause, and so far, the support we have seen has been amazing,” Tabor said. “All of this stems from the mission of my company, and really, the mission of my life, which is to inspire people to adventure more.”

Since opening Blue Sail Coffee, the young entrepreneur has evolved his homegrown neighborhood coffee shop into a reputable coffee roasting company that currently has products being sold at Whole Foods, Walmart and Target stores across Arkansas. Running a successful business was never going to be the finish line for Tabor, though, as he’s constantly looking for new ways to further his mission for conservation and preservation.

With this in mind, Blue Sail Coffee has officially partnered with Ocean Blue Project, one of the country’s leading ocean conservation groups. According to its website, Ocean Blue Project strives to collaborate with agencies, organizations and individuals from diverse backgrounds as it uplifts others who share the same vision of rehabilitating and conserving the world’s oceans. Through this partnership, Blue Sail Coffee has promised that with every pound of coffee sold, they will remove a pound of plastic from the ocean.

Buffalo River

“That’s the bigger goal, is to take care of the ultimate adventure place – the ocean,” he said. “Many people don’t know it, but 90% of ocean pollution comes from rivers. So the Buffalo River cleanup is just the first step in a much bigger goal, and we have an opportunity to make a sort of bigger impact by helping to clean up this river and other rivers.”

To learn more about Tabor’s conservation efforts, click here.


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