A random idea during the recession sparked the idea for a small business that helps people around the world, through a morning cup of coffee.
In April, 2013, donor-based nongovernmental organization (NGO), Global Refuge, opened Global Goods and Coffee Shop, 5613 Olde Wadsworth Blvd., as a way to raise funds and awareness.
Ran by a group of 55 volunteers and Manager Lorianne McNeely, the coffee shop provides an outlet for the organization to promote its cause, sell goods made by people they support, and raise funds to implement projects across the globe.
“People buy coffee every day,” McNeely said “We want them to come in and get as good a cup of coffee as they’re going to get anywhere else, and know it’s (the money) going to go somewhere and help.”
Daily, the coffeehouse serves around 100 cups of coffee, and is swiftly growing. Through every cup of coffee or item purchase the business helps Global Refuge, which seeks to help individuals in war-torn countries and disaster zones survive the conflict by providing them with medical and nutritional aid.
“We take everything that’s above our costs and donate it back into GRI (Global Refuge International, now Global Refuge),” said Jaden McNeely, Global Refuge’s director of international programs. “Last year we put about $70,000, which for us, it enabled us to start multiple programs and responses we weren’t able to do before.”
Last year, the funds enabled initiatives such as a medical clinic responding to cholera outbreaks in Sudan; water projects and wells in Syria; and help children who were orphaned by chemical weapons attacks.
“It (the coffeehouse) was able to singlehandedly change the organization just in that eight month period,” Jaden said.
As the coffee shop celebrates its first anniversary, McNeely said the support it has is huge, but the employees are looking to grow the coffee shop, expanding the amount of people they serve and to continue to grow awareness for Global Refuge.
“Even the involvement at the level of people coming every single day to get a brewed coffee, which is two dollars, that’s their way of helping,” McNeely said. “Even interest at that level is huge.”
For more information about Global Refuge or the coffee shop, call, 720-389-9030 or visit .