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Coffee is something uniquely wonderful.
For many of us, it is a moment of peace in the morning that makes us human again. For others, it is a life-transforming force for good.
From diverting funds to where it’s needed most, to creating jobs for those who so desperately need employment; coffee has the potential to reach deep into countless facets of people’s lives all over the planet.
Many caring, and creative, entrepreneurs working in the coffee industry have recognized the potential of the unique opportunity that coffee presents.
This article aims to recognize the hard efforts from coffee shops and coffee roasters who are all aiming to make the world a better place.
These are coffee roasters and coffee shops that are making a difference.
1. Cafe Virtuoso – San Diego
Cafe Virtuoso take a sustainable approach to both coffee and tea. All of their coffee beans and tea leaves are 100% certified organic. While organic is more difficult to produce, it results in a more environmentally friendly product, and better yet, a far superior brew.
It’s not just Cafe Virtuoso’s tea and coffee that’s environmentally friendly. They only use cups, straws, and utensils that are biodegradable. They are all made with compostable, organic, plant materials.
This conscientious coffee crafting company is the creation of Laurie Britton. She began her career in the manufacturing industry, after realizing her passion for coffee, she transferred her manufacturing skills to roasting coffee beans in her garage. Naturally, garage-roasted coffee evolved into the Cafe Virtuoso we know and love today.
Lately, Cafe Virtuoso have ensured that they continue to serve take-outs and deliveries during the Covid pandemic. As well as accepting carry out orders, they are also selling bags of coffee for home brewing (with options to subscribe), tea, gift cards, brewing gear, and merchandise all from their convenient online store.
2. Pinwheel Coffee – Denver
Pinwheel Coffee is much more than just a cafe and roastery, they are also a school.
Their cafe serves as a classroom for both Embark Education and Denver Montessori Jr/Sr High School. Students get to shadow Pinwheel’s baristas and get hands-on experience of Barista Brewing Brilliance.
The learning doesn’t stop there, oh no.
This coffee shop was started with the goal of being student-oriented from the beginning. Students have been involved in pretty much every aspect of the business, from choosing the location and design, to developing business plans and cost analysis.
Students are able to apply science and math skills, gain some very real work experience, and even more uniquely and importantly, become real entrepreneurs.
3. No Limits Cafe – Red Bank, New Jersey
The No Limits Cafe is one cafe that proves that there are truly no limits to what any individual human can do.
Their mission is to empower adults with disabilities by training them and employing them to work at the No Limits Cafe.
It’s an all too often overlooked population. Disabled people need an income too, and only 20% of disabled people are in employment.
From a color-coded kitchen to wheelchair access; this entire business has been set up to facilitate disabled people working here.
Unfortunately, No Limits Cafe has been closed since Covid restrictions began in March. It was the first time many of its employees simply had a job, and funds are tight for this small nonprofit. Hopefully they can get back up and running again once Covid has been tackled.
4. SAME Cafe – Denver
SAME Cafe is a volunteer-run business. In fact, it’s basis is so volunteer-run that you can pay for your meal by volunteering to work for half an hour.
This unique opportunity can be the difference of life and death for people experiencing hard times. What’s more, the meal is served first.
SAME Cafe is truly putting people first, ensuring that everyone who asks may eat.
It’s not just the homeless and hungry who benefit from this heartwarming cafe, students are able to volunteer and gain crucial work experience.
To really take employment opportunities to the next level, SAME Cafe offer their Cook to Work program, where students are taught an in-depth culinary curriculum. After completing the program, students will receive the ServSafe Certification so they are ready for work.
5. BLK & Bold – Across The US
BLK & Bold are one coffee roaster who like to share the love.
They focus on working to end youth homelessness, enhance youth employability, and sustain youth programming. They pledge 5% of their profits to this cause.
For a coffee roaster who sell their coffee beans to coffee shops, restaurants, and coffee enthusiasts across all 50 states, that 5% is a massive sum.
Those funds are channeled into organizations such as Kid Power and No Kid Hungry in Washington D.C., Sunset Youth Services in San Francisco, Urban Growers Collective in Chicago, Greening Youth Foundation in Atlanta, and many more.
As a result of their ongoing efforts to support youth, BLK & Bold received full B Corp certification in July 2020. B Corporation certification is only awarded to companies who meet the highest standards of assuring that they perform far beyond just the product or service level; more so that transparency, accountability, and positive social impact, both short-term and long-term, are built into the company’s legal structure.
Simply put, BLK & Bold is built intrinsically to be a force for good.
6. Peace Coffee – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Peace Coffee aim their focus at their coffee. Or should I say, they focus on the coffee farm, and then every step the bean makes between the farm and the customer.
Peace Coffee work with their supplier farms. They help farmers to grow organically, to develop the absolute best coffee farming practices possible, and crucially, they ensure they are paying their farmers fairly for their hard efforts.
Really, they take an in-depth, ground up, approach to optimizing the quality and yield of their supplier farm coffee crops. From clever approaches such as possibly having chickens fertilizing the ground that the plants grow on, to exactly how to prune the coffee plants.
They are not only committed to 100% fairtrade coffee, they care about the environment too. They cycle absolutely everywhere they can.
Following the cyclist dream, from day 1, they have delivered their coffee by bike. While the company has grown massively from where they began, pedal power is still at the heart of how they operate.
7. Cause Roast – Across The US
Cause Roast is a prime example that coffee is nothing without water.
One of humanity’s most basic needs is clean, safe, drinking water. The difference between parts of the world with and without safe drinking water is absolute night and day. Clean water is an absolute must for health and prosperity.
Cause Roast invest a massive 15% of every purchase toward helping to bring clean, safe, drinking water to every single person on the planet.
That’s our list of coffee roaster and coffee shops who are making a difference.
We know there are many more groups making a hard effort to make the world a better place.
If you think there is a company, your own company, or even a person who should be on this list then please do get in touch. Let us know either in the comments below or by sending us an email to the address on our contact page.