Why Do We Partner with Coda Coffee?
Because They Have a Social Conscience
Women’s Bean Project is comprised of many more individuals and organizations than the ones that work inside our building each day. The network of organizations and companies that support our work has ties nationwide. Without these partners, we wouldn’t be able to produce our products, provide our programming, and ultimately, fulfill our mission of helping women toward self-sufficiency.
Our partners are not chosen at random. We work with people who care about people and the world as we do. One such partner is Coda Coffee Company, a B-Corp Certified business out of Colorado. I recently connected with Jessica Thwaites with Coda Coffee to learn more about her company, and why our partnership means so much. Check out the interview below, and be sure to leave any questions you have in the comments!
Enjoy! – Annie Carruthers, Marketing & E-Commerce Manager
What’s the Coda Coffee story?
Our story is one that I’m so thankful to tell. My husband Tim Thwaites and his brother Tommy Thwaites grew up working in the coffee industry. In 2005, shortly after both of our families had moved to Denver, they each found themselves searching for meaningful career paths. It didn’t take much searching before they settled on starting a coffee roaster together, and soon after Coda Coffee was born. Their parents, Tom and Sharon Thwaites, were inspired by their sons’ ideas and passion, and took the great risk of investing their retirement into our new company. With that leap of faith, Tommy and Tim hit the ground running, and have brought Coda to where it is today, a multi-state wholesale specialty coffee roaster with over 45 employees.
What is the business model? How do you build creating impact into it?
Our business model is to provide education, advocate for underserved populations, and to create partnerships with those populations while sourcing the best beans in the world, and roasting and delivering award-winning coffee. Impact is naturally built into this from the beginning. Environmentally, we strive to make a difference by every action we take. Our efforts for the environment span from wind power and local waste reduction, to investing in biodigester and fertilizer research and seeking out farmers who engage in sustainable agriculture.
Socially and economically, we have been fortunate to work with communities all over the world, and through the help of our major green coffee importer, Atlas Coffee Importers, we have been able to build new roads, build health clinics, fortify schools with supplies and better cooking utensils, and assist in building drying beds in coffee communities. Having these relationships, farmers and their communities are able to share the needs and challenges that they face, and in turn have these needs met, which ultimately increases the quality of their coffee, leading to higher wages, leading to a better quality of life, work environment, and health.
For people who are unfamiliar with the B-Corp Certification, can you explain what is it and why you chose to get Coda Coffee certified?
We are very proud of our B Corp certification. From B Corp’s website: “certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decision on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force of good.”
We chose to become B Corp certified because everything they stand for, we stand for. Their values align to ours and ours with theirs. If we want to see a world in the future that’s worth living in, we all have to do our part and pitch in, we have to be the change we seek in the world.
What is your vision for your company?
The long-term vision for Coda is that we can continue on the trajectory we’re on. Growth is (usually) a good thing, so we are continually striving to grow our brand and our reach in the market. We have an amazing team of employees, many that have been with us for 10 years or more. We’ve really strived at Coda to create a place where everyone is excited to come to work and excited to be a part of the team. I also envision our partnerships abroad to continue to grow, and I’m thrilled at the prospects of meeting more and more people who we can form relationships with, furthering our worldview and furthering our impacts.
What are some of the challenges you face as a company?
I would say the largest challenge we have always faced is staying focused. All of us tend to get very excited about new projects and exciting branches in which our company can grow. The challenge comes down to really analyzing which of these projects to embark on while making sure we have the time and resources to maintain commitments we’ve already made.
What are you looking forward to in the upcoming months or years? What are you most excited about for your business?
There is always so much to look forward to! The past 4 years we have ventured into the retail side of the coffee business, and this year we have decided to scale our retail division back quite a bit to focus on our true passion: roasting great coffee. This is allowing us to allocate resources and employees into further quality control, quality assurance, and the streamlining of processes in both our Denver and Phoenix roasting locations. All extremely good things!
Tim recently traveled to Honduras where he met with and toured the Beneficio San Vincente. Amidst those talks came the plan of planting 20,000 trees in the Honduran National Forest. The official plan for this is in the works as we speak.
Lastly, our latest research in our lab has been on CBD coffee. There is a lot of buzz surrounding CBD and the benefits it can provide to certain individuals, and we are looking forward to learning more about it and developing an amazing CBD coffee product in the coming months.
Were you familiar with Women’s Bean Project prior to supplying coffee beans to the organization?
Yes! I was, in fact, gifted a set of Women’s Bean Project soup mixes at my bridal shower, which was a few months before we began working with WBP. We are so proud to have provided WBP’s coffee for as long as we have- almost since our inception.
How do you support other social enterprises?
We work with many social enterprises in addition to Women’s Bean Project. Most specifically, many of the co-ops we are involved with at origin are essentially social enterprises, although they likely wouldn’t function in any other way even if they could. Most recently, my Mom, Sharyn McPherson, and I volunteered on behalf of Coda at Soles 4 Souls Colorado, an organization that provides international micro-entrepreneurs with loans in order to start their business. We are currently looking at ways Soles 4 Souls and Coda can work together at origin to further relationships in both of our realms, which I am super excited about!
How can people support Coda Coffee? Where can they find your products?
Well, if you are a coffee drinker, you can certainly support us by purchasing our coffee online at codacoffee.com or by visiting any of the amazing cafes, restaurants, and grocery stores nationwide that carry our brand. We also love to make connections with our partners and customers via our social media channels, so check us out on Facebook and Instagram, both @codacoffee. We make announcements via our website and social media when we are doing specific fundraisers and events in the community as well.
Thank you, Jessica, for such a great experience learning about Coda Coffee!
All photos courtesy of Coda Coffee Company.