Imbibe Coffee Roasters in Dublin 8 is fast making a name for itself - and not just because of its coffee offering.
Since its launch Imbibe has adopted a ‘conscious capitalism’ approach, paying staff a living wage, aiming for zero waste, working with ethical farming cooperatives and making charitable donations an integral part of the business.
Founder Gary Grant had two main goals when he set up the company: “to roast great coffee and help a cause.” That help comes in the form of cold hard cash: since its launch Imbibe has donated 1% of its sales to Irish women’s charity Women’s Aid, which helps victims of domestic abuse.
Now in its second year, Gary and the team are taking things further and will be donating a further 1% of turnover to various projects in coffee-producing countries. One of the first to benefit is in Colombia (pictured above). Gary told us, “The first project was one I felt very strongly about because as soon as I saw this picture as it reminded me that, but for a fluke of birth, it could be my kids. The photo is from Rubi Village which is near Planadas in Tolima, Colombia. It's an area we buy our Colombian coffee from for our Kaleidoscope blend. The kids are crossing a river on tree trunks to get to school. I know people who have used the current crossing and tell me it's really precarious so we're funding a safe crossing.”
They won’t be stopping there: a second project set to benefit from Imbibe is, appropriately enough, a coffee-related initiative in Yemen. “Yemen is one the most screwed over countries in the world but has a very unique history when it comes to coffee,” Gary explains. “Our plan is to but a certain coffee from quality control platform Qima as they do great work with producers. We will roast and pack it and then give it to six coffee shops (we have three on board so far), to sell for a minimum cost per 250-gram bag. They will then give us all of the proceeds and we will donate it to a Yemen specific project with Médecins Sans Frontières. We're also looking at doing something with the all-female co-op we work with in Peru but projects haven't come out as yet.”
This new donation will be alongside the ongoing 1% donation to Women's Aid every year. For more information on these and future projects go to the website.