My family was laughing at me last night at dinner. I was telling them about the first ever roasting of Beautiful Day Ethiopian Yirgacheffe heirloom coffee. Maybe I was a little enthusiastic. Maybe I was acting as if roasting coffee was something new under the sun.
“We knew it would come to this,” they said.
Oh well. You can pick your friends.
But in case you want to chuckle too—or would just like to indulge in a little obsessive joy and be part of the whole scoop of why we’re venturing into coffee—I’d love to go on about it for at least a few minutes.
The coffee idea came directly out our recent strategic planning process. One outcome of that process was a goal to grow the business side of what we are doing by 3x over the next 3 years. We hope to do this by not only selling more granola, but by experimenting with some ways to expand our line of products. Our strategy includes
a) continuing to explore the best niche for our social venture,
b) expanding the kinds of job-related activities our trainees can experience
c) developing some key potential partnerships with local employers who could function as part of a pipeline from training program directly into more secure full-time jobs.
One reason coffee is an especially good fit for us is that it aligns with our mission to make refugee resettlement and issues of human displacement a healthy, daily part of peoples’ lives. The emphasis here is on DAILY. DAILY has been a central part of our strategy in choosing granola as a product. We of course want to help specific refugees rebuild their lives and find their way in our state and feel welcomed, but the other part of our mission, and the precise reason we’ve chosen to make a consumer product, is we want everyone in our community to have a simple, DAILY, affordable way to engage with refugees. Then human displacement won't need to be some once-a-year in-passing concern. Nor will we need to park it in that “oh-that’s-horrible-but-I-can’t-do-anything-about-it” category of our minds. Some problems need to go in that compartment, but refugee resettlement is all about relationships and community engagement. If you adopt a Beautiful Day product as a daily part of your routine, or better yet, one of your daily pleasures, then we’ve succeeded in one of our big goals.
And BOLT? Wow, we are so proud to be collaborating with such an incredible business. In my humble opinion—and no offense to the other coffee shops we love so much—well, okay maybe I should really watch my superlatives here—but they are absolutely (one of) THE best. Class, style, knowledge. Their master-roaster, Justin, should be our coffee poet laureate of Providence, which isn’t an award category yet, but you can vote for Bryan Gibb as our state’s beverage artisan at Edible Rhody here. (While you’re at it put in a vote for us in Food Related Non-Profits.)
I will have to finish going on another time, but for now we’d love to give thanks and have you participate in our launch on what we’re calling BLACK COFFEE FRIDAY. This will be a one-time, one-day deal to give our die-hard fans a way to get in on the ground floor of the venture. Don’t take our word for it—order a bag for yourself and use coupon BLACKCOFFEE for 25% off any orders made between Thursday evening and Friday midnight. This will be our biggest discount on coffee this season and will help us know how many more beans to order. Then come back and order for all your friends. Seriously.