INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to purpose-driven organizations and passionate leaders and entrepreneurs who are making an impact in their communities and industries.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
We began as a wholesale coffee roaster in Denver, Colorado in 2005. We import raw coffee, roast it, and sell it to cafés, restaurants, offices, coffee lovers at home – whoever needs amazing coffee in their lives! We also sell a full line of café products, equipment, and expanded in 2015 with our own coffee equipment service company, 9 Bar Tech Co. We were honored in 2014 by Roast Magazine with their Macro Roaster of the Year Award, and the very next year were able to keep the momentum going and open our flagship retail store in Edgewater, Colorado. Since then we have added another location downtown, as well as another roaster location in Glendale, Arizona, and three coffee kiosks carts in the University of Phoenix stadium, also in Glendale.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Our mission is simple: “To set the standard for coffee excellence through education, advocacy, and partnerships. With the belief that success is reciprocal, Coda does what it takes to exceed expectations.” So what does this mean exactly? It means that we are constantly striving to educate ourselves, educate our customers, and to both educate farmers and learn from them. We do that by being advocates, by becoming friends, and by developing real and permanent partnerships in the industry. We are devoted to promoting sustainability, and have an ongoing commitment to both the environment and the quality of life experienced by individuals in and outside of the coffee industry.
Coda is also B Corp Certified, and we stand by the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence: “We envision a global economy that uses business as a force of good. This economy is comprised of a new type of corporation- the B Corporation- which is purpose driven and creates benefits for all stakeholders, not just shareholders. As B Corporations and leaders of this emerging economy, we believe: That we must be the change we seek in the world. That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered. That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all. To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.”
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
Environmentally, we strive to make a difference by every action we take. Climate change is a very real issue and if all businesses and individuals can take responsibility for their own actions, we feel that very real impacts can be made. Our efforts for the environment span from wind power and local waste reduction, to investing in biodigester plants and seeking out farmers who engage in sustainable agriculture, plus everything in between.
Socially and economically, we have been fortunate enough to work with communities all over the world, with major projects in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Brazil, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Indonesia. Working primarily with Atlas Coffee Importers out of Seattle, Washington, we have been able to build new roads, build health clinics, fortify schools with supplies and better cooking utensils, and assist in building drying beds in coffee communities. Many farmers we have worked with have been able to increase the price of their coffee after participating in annual cupping competitions across the community, increasing competitiveness, innovation, and quality, and increasing profitability for all who participate.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
The men and women we work with in the coffee industry are second to none. We are greatly inspired every day by them: the farmers, the farm workers and the coffee pickers, the men and women who work in the mills, the exporters, the importers, etc. Many of these amazing and inspiring people have dedicated their entire lives to the craft of coffee. When it comes down to it, we do everything for them; we honor their dedication and their labor, we honor their families.
Additionally, we are fortunate to be surrounded by multitudes of coffee companies here in the United States and worldwide, who have the same values as we do. We are constantly surrounded by good friends that are doing amazing things, and that in itself is incredibly inspiring.
WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
Our dream is to keep the momentum going. By coming together with farmers across the world, we hope to find innovative ways to increase yields, increase profits for farmers, increase quality for the consumer, and lessen our impact overall on the environment. Increasing profits for farmers changes lives and communities. It creates more opportunities for healthcare and education in the farming community, especially for women. The socioeconomic impact of this can be outstanding.
Another dream is to do more for the environment. We have made every effort to do our part with the resources we currently have, but hope that in the future, with more financial power and influence, we will be able to do more and become a become a bigger voice of persuasion in the industry.
WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
There are always resources to be had no matter the industry. By building our capital, and in turn receiving better financing through our bank, we would be able to float larger scale projects than we currently are able to, both at our home roasting plant and in overseas in coffee growing communities.
Another critical resource is innovation and participation at the farm level. Two examples of this are our organic fertilizer and biodigester projects: we are currently working with several communities to encourage them to make better use of organic fertilizer that might already be present in their community, which in turn can increase the yields of their coffee trees. Additionally, communities willing to build anaerobic biodigestion plants have the potential to create an excellent source of renewable energy in their area.
WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
The biggest challenge has definitely been staying focused and not spreading ourselves too thin. There are so many projects we want to be involved in, so we are constantly evaluating our resources and efforts to make sure we can maintain the commitments we have made.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
Get involved, make meaningful relationships, trust and really get to know people in your industry. Always be open to advice and do not be afraid to evolve as a person as you continue to learn and understand others.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Well, if you are a coffee drinker you can certainly support us by purchasing our coffee online! We also love to make connections with our partners and customers via our social media channels, so check us out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We do make announcements via our website and social media when we are doing specific fundraisers and events in the community as well. Thank you!
Orapin Marketing + Public Relations serves those who serve others. We help purpose-driven companies and nonprofits get the attention and recognition they deserve for the impact they make by securing press coverage, strategic partnerships, and thought leadership opportunities.