Generous Coffee: A For-Profit Company Brewing Social Justice in Every Cup
From Grower to Consumer, Generous Coffee Is Building Relationships and Making Lasting Change for the Future through their ‘generous’ business model.
What does being generous mean to you? It’s not a secret that kindness doesn’t cost a thing, and yet it yields dividends that radiate outward from the initial act. Now, simple acts of kindness are gaining momentum and are working their way into business. For Generous International, it is not only a namesake, it is what defines them. As a for-purpose business, an astonishing 100-percent of profits are redirected to fund social programs that better the lives of their dedicated workers, their families and their communities. Generous knows that sharing abundance has a much broader reach than simply cutting a paycheck, and they hope to lead the way for other businesses to follow suit where profits directly benefit the people that make it all possible.
Generous was born on the back of the work being done by the Humanity & Hope United Foundation, an organization founded in 2010 to help people overcome the challenges and obstacles they face in order to become their best selves. A clear mission and a lofty goal, its founder Riley wanted to spread love and hope to the communities that they work with throughout Honduras to create sustainable change through a relationship-based model.
But even simple and straightforward ideas need firm ground to grow strong roots. So even though the Foundation was doing amazing work by providing clean water and creating relationships that offered better access to jobs and education to underserved communities, the three guys started worrying that the positive impacts they were seeing risked coming to an end if fundraising for the projects was to stop.
They started searching for a way to create a for-profit business that would then generate the money necessary to continue the work of the Foundation. Returning to the States inspired by a missionary trip in Papua New Guinea, Drew started the process of creating a coffee company. Using the skills that he had already acquired through this work, they tapped into his connections and decided to create Generous Coffee.
Built into the business model of Generous Coffee was the foundational idea that this was to be a for-purpose company; one where all, every bit of profit, would go towards non-profits including Humanity & Hope, to create a source of revenue that would continuously be able to fund programs of social justice and be used to create a better, more stable life for the people of Honduras and other partner communities.
Generous International, the overall company, then expanded into a small apparel line and an ambassador program, where it works as a platform for people to get involved and volunteer with the project. Creating an ambassador program allows them to utilize volunteers more efficiently. Whether the volunteers are advocating for the brand or they’re helping with programs in the field, Generous believes that people are built with a desire to do things for a purpose, and that all people work hard at any project when their heart is invested in the work.
Rooted in a strong tradition of Christian service to people, the founders of Generous believe that love is the guiding force of their work.
“When we do work with love, it encourages our partners and the people in the community to go invest that into the people around them, too. That’s why Generous invests in people, because we believe that magic can happen inside people. Magic can’t happen inside projects. Magic can’t happen inside inanimate objects. Love. Loving people is our end goal, and it yields results.”
From the coffee growers and volunteers working toward creating positive change in Honduran communities, to the Haitian women that make Generous Threads apparel using fabric made from recycled bottles and the conscious consumers buying the coffee and clothing, Generous is showing that these connections are what is needed to unite people in positive change. We can all play a role. For workers in the States that feel disconnected, slogging through a 9-to-5, tired and uninspired, purchasing with purpose can really go a long way to making real and lasting connections. Helping people understand that there is a marketplace that uses money as a currency of compassion, everyone can connect themselves to the change they want to see in the world.
Like many similarly minded companies, one of the biggest challenges facing Generous is the ability to spread that awareness. Consumers can’t make choices that align with their values when they don’t know those choices are out there to make.
“You have to be able to let people know that their purchase goes beyond the tangible good that they’ve purchased. Consumers have to feel connected to the producers and have to be aware of how the profit is paid forward. The Generous Movement originated from that, and continues to strive towards communicating this all-encompassing idea that we really are all in this together,” elaborates Maddie Short, Director of Communications for Generous Coffee.
In addition to getting the word out, Generous is focused on and committed to making sure that every single decision that is made on the business side stays aligned with their overall mission. After a few missteps, they’ve vowed not to take the easy route, not to take shortcuts, and to always do due diligence in properly vetting anyone they work with at every step of the supply chain. From producer to consumer, Generous has promised to always work for what they stand for, to partner with other purpose-driven companies, to create mutually beneficial partnerships, and to uphold the highest standards every step of the way in this fight to create sustainable change and lasting social justice.
Along with getting the word out about Generous and the people they serve, the business struggles with time. It’s a fact that there are only so many hours in the day, and when trying to grow big things and do good work, it requires a certain level of patience and understanding that things take time. Each business has to go through growing pains during the development stages, and this is a challenge all small startups can relate to.
In spite of the challenges, everyone involved with Generous is motivated by making a great tasting cup of coffee that also makes a difference in the world, and they want their work to have a lasting impact. They stand tall and steadfast in their convictions knowing that their generosity is completely dependent on the generosity of others. The more generous we all are, the bigger impact we all can make.
Share your generosity today and join in the movement to help one another. If you’re local to the Denver area, pop into Pinwheel Coffee to enjoy a freshly brewed cup of Generous coffee, or grab a bag for home. Not local? No problem! Choose from eight amazing small-batch roasted flavors available for home delivery, or get a sampling of three with shipping free! Connect with Generous on social media and let them know where you are, so they can bring pop-up events to your community. Advocate for the company and their mission with family and friends, and if you feel a call to act, check out how you can become a part of their ambassador program and experience the generosity first-hand.