COFFEE AS GOOD AS IT TASTES
At Switch Coffee Collective people are our priority and coffee is our connection. Our conviction is that sustainability doesn’t end with buying beans responsibly. Not only do we ethically source our coffee, but we also partner with men from under-resourced communities stateside to provide job training that switches the trajectory of their lives. Our heartbeat is to go way beyond charity while we roast remarkable coffee.
You’ll hear a lot of companies in the coffee business talk about fair trade and sustainable farming. Increased awareness of the supply chain and focus on farmers, pickers, producers, and exporters has created a new breed of importers, roasters, and cafes that are treating our global partners fairly. This is good! But one of the questions we asked when we founded Switch was, can we go beyond ensuring an ethical supply chain?
It’s also fairly common for coffee companies to donate a share of their profits to charitable organizations. This too is good! But life has taught us that charity has its limits. As our own world-views have been stretched, we began to see that dignity, education, and empowerment were far more valuable tools for building stronger communities. So again we asked ourselves, can we go beyond just giving to good causes?
“SWITCH COFFEE IS FIRST AN EXCELLENT PRODUCT. THE MISSION IS A BONUS. BUT IT’S ALSO ONE OF THOSE RARE, ‘CHANGE THE WORLD’ BONUSES.”
EMPOWERMENT TRUMPS CHARITY
We exist to be an agent of equity that creates and retains wealth in under-resourced communities. By investing in people through opportunity and training we empower them to face new challenges and achieve new levels of success. We believe that empowerment, not charity, is the long-term solution to poverty in our city, and we want to play a leading role. When you purchase our coffee you provide that opportunity.
Our values are shared by Mission: St. Louis, a non-profit we co-located with in the JeffVanderLou neighborhood in North St. Louis. Mission: St. Louis has an intensive, year-long Job & Leadership Training program for men ages 22-35. The Job & Leadership Training program seeks to empower men from under-resourced communities to become leaders in their families, workplaces and communities.
In partnership with Mission: St. Louis we provide internships for men who go through their program in addition to potential full time employment. Our work environment provides a safe place to learn about what it takes to run a small business, the soft skills required to succeed in any profession, and the technical skills to be in food service.
Each time you purchase our coffee, you are empowering another man to model to his children what it looks like to get up and go to work in the morning, to provide for his family, and to step in to his God-given abilities every single day. Beyond creating jobs with livable wages, by working with us you are also helping us create and retain wealth in under-resourced communities that have for decades lacked true wealth building opportunities.