We are proud to announce that we will now be offering beans from our BFF non-profit partner, Aspire Coffeeworks, through our regular wholesale channels. We roast the beans and the folks at Aspire take care of everything else, advancing the lives of countless adults with disabilities along the way.
Both Aspire Roast and Aspire Bold will be offered and, being that Aspire Bold is the darkest coffee we roast here at Metropolis Coffee Company, this is going to be a product dark-roasted coffee lovers will love. “Aspire Bold is the only French Roast we do, so if that’s what you want, here’s your chance,” says Metropolis Coffee Company co-owner, Tony Dreyfuss. “Why do we do it for Aspire?
“We decided to stop doing dark roast about five minutes after they committed to it, so we decided to continue this coffee for them,” continues Dreyfuss. “Now, we want to help expand the Aspire CoffeeWorks program and wholesale is a terrific way to create employment opportunities, exposure for Aspire programs and much-needed revenue for a non-profit operating in difficult economic times.”
More On Aspire
Here’s the Aspire CoffeeWorks mission and the cause they’ve undertaken is to “help people with disabilities to aspire and reach for their dreams.” We’re so down with that, it’s incredible. We talked to Aspire’s vice president for advancement and one of its founders, Erik Johnson, about what they do and why.
“We created this company so that we could accomplish a couple goals,” says Johnson. “We wanted to create a social enterprise that allowed people with developmental disabilities to be qualified and work jobs within the community.
“We also wanted to create a real, viable consumer product, not something people buy because it’s charity, but really great coffee. Originally, we talked about doing a bakery and we started to think, ‘Why would we want to do that?’” says Johnson, candidly. “Later, Jim Kales (Aspire’s CEO) and I were sitting around drinking coffee and thought of it and it took off from there.
“Then we found Tony [Dreyfuss], who’s been instrumental in that we wanted to make money for the organization and create jobs, but to also see how people with developmental disabilities can be involved in community and have jobs. It’s been an eye opener for the public, people are really interested.
“We can explain what a person with developmental disabilities can accomplish in a new way, the coffee business allows for that,” says Johnson. “How do you get people engaged in your mission and who you are? For us, the goal is to go further than social service and on to real life application.”
Johnson also points out there’s more to Aspire than Aspire CoffeeWorks, but it’s a marquis project for a number of reasons, he says. “From a business perspective, we’re excited to have this opportunity to present this really great product to the Metropolis wholesale customers, it’s a great opportunity for us. We’re excited because, as we grow our sales, we can train and hire more adults with developmental disabilities. It’s a great way for us to introduce this product to an audience who already knows Metropolis and, hopefully, that results in additional coffee needed and we can hire more folks to make that happen.”
Yes, We’re BFF’s
“When we started this project, we tried to think about who we could work with before we opened our doors,” remembers Johnson. “We talked to a couple of companies who were hesitantly willing to talk to us until one day I picked up the phone…I knew of Metropolis, knew it was an amazing product and Tony was the one person who called me back within a day. Our first conversation was an hour long. He got it and was as excited about what we wanted to accomplish as we were.
“Jim Kales is my boss and, when we were first planning it, we thought we’d roast our own coffee, but we couldn’t have found a better partner who’s supportive, got it, and understands how important it is to give people with developmental challenges opportunities.
“Tony hires from us and we work side by side with the Metropolis staff. The impact he’s helping us make and he’s making in the lives of adults with developmental disabilities is amazing. I’m not just saying that, it’s just a million-percent sincere.”