Changing the World with Coffee

Henry & Sons launches new social enterprise -The Giving Cafe. This is series one of my #freshcoffeebeans series with @tgcsocialentrep.

Series 2 is here: How to make Vietnamese Cold Brew Coffee

The world, with its many problems and issues is still a wonderful place. It is made special by people who still see a capacity for change. As I’m writing this, the TV is blaring with a thousand and one issues that I have learned to tune out. I know that that is not a very good example for my kids and I am continually impressed by people who refuse to tune out. These people inspire me, making me believe, that I can do a little bit more, no matter how small.

Ser Chief and April

 

At the pre launch of The Giving Cafe in Mandaluyong, I had the privilege and opportunity to talk to Harris Conlin, at the helm of  Henry and Sons. Henry & Sons offers 360 degree coffee solutions tailor-fitted to every challenging demand. From fresh coffee beans, premium coffee roasting, the best ground coffee,  to coffee machines and supplies. training and support services, even your own bespoke blend of gourmet coffee, Henry & Sons can provide you with every single thing you need to get immersed into the world of coffee and engineer your own coffee experience. Harris is a social entrepreneur, coffee explorer and innovator, and the director of the Foundation for Sustainable Coffee Excellence (FSCE). Their specialty is coffee and it’s not surprising that he sees the coffee industry as an avenue for change and a way to make a difference.

 

Ser Chief Michael Harris Conlin introducing the TGC Social Entrepreneurship concept.

Harris believes that coffee, as a local industry, holds immense potential that, when maximized, can actually break records and raise our economy.

“Coffee consumption in the Philippines–especially specialty coffee–is enjoying a steady growth,” he shares.

His disappointment is that, despite our substantial geographical advantages, we are, today, a relatively small producer whose domestic production is not enough to reach regional self-sufficiency. The year 2014’s figures state that our country produces 25 million kilos of coffee and ranks 110th in the world in terms of output, a far cry from where we once were, hence the Foundation for Sustainable Coffee Excellence (FSCE).

 

Raising out Standards

Historians recall a time when coffee flourished when farmers had it cultivated in massive provincial plantations, a venture that trace back to an old-world economy led by Spanish friars in the 1740’s. It held its ground decades after that we gained recognition for being the world’s 4th largest exporter of coffee beans in the 1890’s.

Bent on realizing a vision to bring forth a more sustainable coffee industry, 360° coffee solutions provider Henry and Sons came up with a new model to help re-ignite local coffee while driving social change.

The launch of Henry and Sons’ new social enterprise, aptly called The Giving Cafe (TGC), marks the company’s latest foray in bringing new ways to support FSCE, its advocacy arm, in improving not just the lives of its stakeholders, the coffee farming communities of La Trinidad in Benguet but that of the local coffee industry’s future as well. TGC is  dedicated to creating a better and more sustainable local coffee industry, starting with the empowerment of coffee farming communities in La Trinidad.

 

A Replicable Social Platform

More than a store, The Giving Cafe is the latest out of TGC’s customizable models that other companies are free to adopt. Through it, corporations are given opportunities to get on board Henry and Sons’ advocacy while generating social and financial returns.

“From the machines you require, to the beans you demand, everything you need to take part in out mission can be provided once you adopt out TGC models,” share Harris. Other models include The Giving Caravan, the vintage Volkswagen cafe that has been making rounds giving free coffee in BGC, and the Giving Cart, a pop-up concept that infuses events and activation spaces with good will in the form of a steaming cup of Joe.

 

The Giving Caravan

 

Serving Coffee for Change

Set in its headquarters in the heart of Mandaluyong, The Giving Cafe functions both as a new brick-and-mortar selling space and an experiential cafe designed to take FSCE’s efforts further.

The Giving Cafe serves coffee from the company’s Bloom Coffee line, a special range crafted to support programs that solve issues preventing La Trinidad’s coffee farming community from harvesting quality coffee. “Entrenched in the labors of our coffee farming communities is a promise, a potential we thought of harnessing,” Harris shares.

 

Bloom Coffee Blend especially produced for FSCE.

 

With a special blend assigned to generate proceeds for specific programs that address a major concern, Henry and Sons and FSCE have been helping La Trinidad farmers out by zeroing in on aspects of their trade like livelihood, equipment, water, education, and health.

FSCEs programs have, as of late, been able to; recognize and award  6 winning coffee farmers in their BLOOM Crop of the Year Competition, donate 180+ vaccines and 1,000 mosquito nets for the benefit of the children, grant 2 La Trinidad barangays Atmospheric water generators, grant one barangay a moisture meter, and give two aspiring La Trinidad youth education assistance grant.

 

A Place for Indulgence

In essence, The Giving Cafe is a safe haven of comfort that introduces guests to Henry & Sons’ F&B expertise. Aside from the Bloom range, the cafe also offers signature coffee products made from top-of-the-line coffee machines that feature sate-of-the-art-technology. Customers can also savor a fusion of cuisines and beverages to satisfy their tastes.

 

We actually had a Latte Art Session and Harris promises that there would be more opportunities to learn more about coffee designed for coffee aficionados looking to indulge in coffee experiences served with both excellence and compassion.

Not only that, the cafe honors the legacy of Henry & Sons’ founding family by having its design imbued with the company’s heritage in rope-making.

A tribute to the Rope tradition of the Conlin family. (photo courtesy of Harris Conlin)

 

For a company like Henry and Sons, raising the standards of our country’s coffee farming landscape only seemed like the right thing to do. “If we can help and inspire La Trinidad, Benguet coffee farmers to better their trade, without a doubt they can help us get our coffee back into the international market by 2018.”

“With your help, we can take our coffee further and make it something special, something we can really be proud of in the next 10 years,” Harris ends.

Other Notes:

Foundation for Sustainable Coffee Excellence

FSCE is a non profit organization geared at providing livelihood necessities to local coffee farmers with the end goal of bringing to the country a more solid and sustainable coffee industry.

Under it are planned initiatives like the annual Bloom Crop of the Year Competition, first held in La Trinidad, and a slew of signature blends under the Bloom Coffee range crafted with the intent of having proceeds sent to programs that make coffee farmers’ lives easier. This includes The Giving well (Potable Water for Farmers), Cup to Seed (Livelihood programs in-between harvests), Coffee for Great Minds (Scholarships for the farmer’s children)Beans for the Little Ones (Vaccines for improving their children’s health), and Beans within Reach (A traceability system that connects buyers to La Trinidad’s own coffee origin).

For more information on TGC and The Giving Cafe, please follow the TGC Facebook Page at facebook.com/tgcsocialentrep. You may also send them an email at [email protected]

 

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  1. Pingback: How To Make Vietnamese Cold Brew Coffee - Relax Lang Mom! Home, Living, and Lifestyle Blog

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