It started with an innocuous email. A hypothetical question, thrown out into the void in those early days of a new job where you’re keen to make an impressive start. “Would you be interested in a corporate charity partnership with Restore?” Then, one morning in December, came the moment that made me jump out of my chair. A response pinged into my inbox. “Yes, we’d love to. Let’s talk more.” And so began the partnership between Restore York and Divine Coffee Roasters.
As this was something entirely new to both sides, it’s been a long process of working out exactly what a partnership would look like and how to make it happen. In a meeting with James – director at Divine – fairly early in the process, it became clear that the timing could not have been more providential.
Jim, from Omwani coffee company, had been liaising with Kisinga Coffee Station in Uganda about producing a coffee based on their beans, harvested from altitudes of more than 1500 metres above sea level, in the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda. Like many of us, he had spent his life drinking coffee with little appreciation for the complexity of the supply chain. After realising just how much work goes into producing good quality coffee, he wanted to create something that had a positive impact long term for the communities where coffee was grown and produced. He had already forged a partnership with ‘Agri-Evolve,’ a profit-for-purpose organisation working alongside the Kisinga Coffee station, which ensures growers get a fair price for their produce, as well as benefitting the whole extended community.
Back in York, James at Divine planned to retail a single-origin limited edition Ugandan coffee using the beans from the Kisinga coffee station. In addition to this, he felt it was right to create a coffee blend based on the Ugandan beans. He was keen to find a local charity to link to the Rwenzori coffee; to reflect the fact that Divine Coffee is a York-based business using a global product, having a positive impact at both local and international levels. It was at this point in his thought process that my email dropped into his inbox!
At Restore, our passion for providing accommodation and support to people who have experienced homelessness is driven by our desire to serve God; demonstrating His love by seeking justice for the disadvantaged. Our partnership with Divine Coffee Roasters reflects this; the Restore blend coffee helps not only the work we are doing in York, but the growers of the Kisinga Coffee Station also.
The Restore blend has been a long time coming, but I assure you, it is worth the wait! Using a special blend of Brazilian, Colombian and Ugandan beans to give a full-bodied coffee with tastes of rich chocolate and cherry, it retails at £7 per 227g bag and 10% of the purchase price comes back to Restore. Apart from the fact that it tastes AMAZING (I can 100% confirm this, I’ve had a sneak preview!), by purchasing this blend, you are supporting the community of Rwenzori coffee growers and making a donation to Restore at the same time. Available from Divine in either whole beans or ground state, what’s not to love? Divine are a small batch roaster, producing coffee twice a week to ensure maximum freshness. They even provide free delivery if your order totals £15 or more online.