Local PDX Coffee Roasters That Give Back to Their Community
Portland is a city that is known for its strong community spirit and progressive ideologies. As Portlanders, we feel a profound desire to give back to our community and offer a helping hand to those in need. This spirit of community-minded entrepreneurship has taken root in local businesses across many industries, and those in the coffee business are certainly no exception.
For those of us who want to give back to our community with every purchase possible, we’ve gathered a list of Portland-based coffee companies that go above and beyond to help support their city and its residents, as well as their business partners overseas.
1. Happy Cup
Specialty coffee roasters Happy Cup in NE Portland provide an employment program for “People With Potential” – those with disabilities who have aged out of special education programming, but still need help learning real-life skills. These individuals have a very hands-on experience with the business, helping with everything from bagging, labeling, weighing coffee, and even helping to create the names of their unique blends.
With all of the inequalities that disabled folks face in the world of employment, you’ll feel good knowing every pound of coffee you buy helps to provide employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. Plus, Happy Cup exclusively sources their product from ethically farmed and traded coffee.
2. Central City Coffee
Central City Coffee supports Central City Concern’s mission of breaking the cycle of addiction and poverty here in Portland. Through the art of craft coffee roasting, they provide job-training opportunities for formerly homeless individuals.
Central City Coffee is available for purchase in several Portland retail shops, including New Seasons Market, Green Zebra Grocery, Food Front Cooperative, Whole Foods, and Chuck’s Produce. Every sale goes towards Central City Concern’s mission of providing transferable job skills like packaging, sales and distribution, and wholesale account management through the coffee trade.
3. Sustainable Harvest
One of the most profound ways that you can help make a difference on a global scale when it comes to buying coffee is by choosing to purchase fair trade varieties of your favorite beans and roasts. This helps support sustainable coffee farming practices overseas, and ensures a higher quality product!
The good people at Sustainable Harvest, a Portland-based importer of high quality specialty-grade coffees from over 15 countries around the world, have taken this ethical business practice one step further with their innovative “direct trade” model. These forward-thinking business policies help to bring farmers and consumers closer together, and lessen the environmental impact that can accompany conventional coffee-farming practices.
4. Nossa Familia
Centrally located in Portland’s downtown Pearl district, Nossa Familia is a certified B-Corporation, dedicated to building direct-trade and family-trade relationships from farms in places like Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Peru, Honduras, and more.
In addition to being involved with a number of local community action groups (including Central City Coffee and Community Vision), Nossa Familia gave over $25,000 to the Portland community in cash and in-kind donations in 2015.