Blessed Coffee, a very popular local coffee company, held its 3rd Anniversary Celebration at Addis Ababa Restaurant in Silver Spring on October 23, 2013. Among the guests were Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin ( D-20), representing Silver Spring and Takoma Park.
At the 3rd Anniversary celebration, Blessed Coffee publicly launched Brewing Change, a crowd-funding campaign developed to support Blessed Coffee in raising necessary capital to open its first café and roasting facility in Takoma Park. They also introduced their 16-member Brewing Change campaign team, whose members come from a diversity of backgrounds and represent a breadth of skills and professions--art, law, technology, organizational development, communications, community activism and real estate. Each member was drawn to Brewing Change because of Blessed Coffee’s socially conscious and sustainable business model.
Blessed Coffee was founded in 2011 by Tebabu Assefa and Sara Mussie of Takoma Park. Blessed Coffee (BC) is based on the philosophy, "from the farmer to your cup" and is established as a socially responsible business and trade geared towards development in coffee growing regions as well as in communities in the US where coffee is sold.
The significance and common good of the founding philosophy was recently confirmed through the enactment of the "Benefit Corporation," a new form of business organization, promoted by Sen. Jamie Raskin and signed into law in April 2010 in the State of Maryland. The benefit corporation is a hybrid of for-profit and nonprofit models that aims for community benefits as well as profits. BC is the second company to be registered under the Benefit Corporation law.
By working with Ethiopian coffee cooperatives and directly with 180,000 small farmers that have a stake in BC's success, BC highlights the rich Ethiopian coffee tradition and introduces premium grade, shade grown, organic Ethiopian coffees to the international market. Getting the coffee directly from the farmers and bypassing several middle agents provides a bigger profit margin (US$2.50 per pound to US$13.00) for coffee growers.
High value profit sharing arrangements and BC's long standing association with the small coffee growers secures its access to the highest grade of beans in regions renowned for producing the world's finest coffees. The same arrangements guarantee that quality is maintained in each step of the logistics chain – including 18 quality control checks during the crucial sorting and washing processes. The result is a branded product with a discernable difference in both taste and consistency.
As BC grows and expands its market share and variety of supply, small coffee farmers from other cooperative unions in Ethiopia and other African countries will establish a business relationship with other small coffee farmers in Ethiopia and other African coffee growing countries.
For information about Blessed Coffee, visit their website at http://www.blessedcoffee.us/
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