For over 8 years we have been touting the quality and goodness of our coffee. Then we threw in a rant of two. Our message has been, “life is too short to drink bad coffee”. Now that I am reaching elder statesman age, we want to show people that one small coffee roaster CAN positively change the world, and inspire others to change things for the better.
Most of you, if not all, are familiar with Tom’s shoes. Their original model of buy a pair of shoes, give a pair of shoes has inspired many others to create similar business models of “buy one and we give one”. Please do not misinterpret what we are saying. This type of charity entrepreneurialism is wonderful, but it does not help the people who receive the charity get out of poverty.
We want to share with the United States if not the world that social capitalism is how we can positively change the world. Social capitalism is best understood as classic capitalism with a focus on improved social outcomes, or at least economic social responsibility. We have always had this as our internal goal but we feel it is time to bring this message to the forefront of our company.
Using Tap Dancers Specialty Coffee as the example, we only buy single origin coffee. That means we know the name of the farmer who grew the coffee and we know the farmer got paid. This is the reason why we proudly put the name of the farm on our front label. We want the farm to be rewarded for their work so that they can lift themselves out of poverty. In turn, they grow and they help their neighbors grow.
Here is the difficulty of touting this type of capitalism…because the farmer is paid well, everyone else in the chain makes a smaller margin. That is why there are very few coffee businesses that only specialize in specialty grade. But the good news is specialty grade coffee is growing and the supply is keeping up with the growing demand which means more and more communities are growing out of poverty. We truly believe there is more than enough for everyone.