The how and the why.
Appalachia for most people stirs fond memories of weekend getaways to Gatlinburg, a ski-trip to the Pokonos or some form of a relaxing getaway into nature and the mountains. While this is true Appalachia is more than a cluster of small town vacation destinations. It’s a people, 25 million in fact.
It’s a cultural and a slower more holistic way of living.
It’s a visually stunning, beautiful region of the United States, that literally helped to build our country and fund western expansion, through coal mining and lumber milling. Although now for the last couple of decades the grip of poverty and drug addiction, has worked in partnership to all but collapse, what was once, one of the most economically sufficient regions in the world.
After a hand full of years running a food bank and other giving based benevolence operations, I found one simple thing to be true. Giving things to people was a cheap band-aid covering of a much bigger and more infectious wound... the lack of hope and opportunity. We could never give enough away to provide for everyone...
At some point we had to give people the opportunity to provide for themselves. Which in a region where almost all the natives grew up connected to the dying coal industry their fore-fathers worked and died in, the options for employment where desperately thin. We needed some creative thinking.
Imagine living in a small but once was thriving, but now depleted coal town. Where 1/3 of your neighbors are elderly but are taking care of their grandchildren because of drug addiction. Another 1/3 of your neighbors are living without power our running water, and the last 1/3 is addicted to drugs. Thats leaves a grim selection of options for many people who want to stay and build lives in much of Appalachia. Some of the these old coal and lumber towns are so tucked away in the mountains its a 30 minute drive just to get milk...
I remember talking to young man in his 20’s, who like many others was helplessly addicted to meth and unemployed. He has learned to survive by doing favors for drug dealers. I asked him plainly after giving him a box of food, if I could help you get clean from meth would you do it? He sheepishly looked at his feet and answered. This is all I know how to do. There’s nothing else for me.
It broke my heart. I know him, and I know deep down he's a good person. When given the chance he's hard working, and he desperately wants to be a loyal and dependable. But what he really needs is to be loved and infused with hope.
That’s where coffee comes in. A simple, yet highly in demand product that people drink daily. We have made connections with some of the best coffee producers globally. With the goal to establish coffee fulfillment centers all over forgotten Appalachia. Every bag you buy, sows hope.
We are on a mission to pick up where the coal industry left off. We are a coffee company focused on people and Appalachia, and we are glad to have met you.