Ampersand Coffee hopes to improve the state of the world, one beverage at a time
Coffee grinds and milk is steamed while art is draped carefully on top of a piping hot latte.
But behind your morning latte is a mission. Ampersand Coffee has goals of sustainability, supporting organic farming and breaking down gender barriers in countries where women are struggling every day.
“Our business model is built around making the world a better place while providing our customers with an amazing experience. Along with sourcing exclusively fair trade coffee, our coffee is also 100% organic, largely for environmental reasons,” says Kurt Hans, CEO & Founder of Ampersand. “Further, our business supports and promotes women’s empowerment at the coffee co-op level. It’s a no-brainer to purchase a better quality product at the same price from a business that does good things in the world.”
Hans fell in love with coffee and the process of roasting after curiosity struck. Shortly after graduating from college, he decided he wanted to know where coffee came from — and understand the importance of these small beans for farming communities.
“I learned about the plant, the exotic origins of coffee, and the systemic poverty that coffee farmers have been subject to for centuries. I formed a vision to create an entirely fair trade coffee roasting company: a for-profit business with a complex, exotic reach that had an element of improving the world built into its business model.”
Ampersand is Hans’ vision come to life. Sustainability sourced organic, fair trade coffee, roasted on-site, and offered to eager regular customers and clients.
But what really sets Ampersand apart further is their passion for empowering the women of the coffee farming communities.
In many countries where coffee is farmed, until recently, it was often illegal for women to even own land. The gender scale is heavily skewed towards men, leaving women to fight every day to simply be heard.
“Studies show that when women are empowered, families become stronger, children stay in school longer, and ultimately communities become stronger. When communities become stronger, they become more capable of environmental sustainability. When their community is stable and their environment is sustainable, yields and quality increase which will allow these communities to invest in their future.”
Ampersand purchases the majority of their coffee from Cafe Femenino co-ops. Not only do these co-ops provide fair-trade and organic coffee, they follow strict standards set by Cafe Femenino that require the women to own land, participate in group meetings, and hold leadership positions — most of which have not been allowed or condoned by convention in coffee-growing countries.
“More and more, consumers are interested in where their products come from and what impact they have on the world. Ampersand is part of the solution to social and environmental change, and that feels good.”
Ampersand Coffee has not only made its mark in coffee-growing communities but also right here in Boulder. From the shop to restaurants and offices, Ampersand Coffee strives to provide coffee that not only tastes good but makes you feel good. Stop by their tasting room and order a flight of lattes to feel it for yourself.
“We love the loyal family of coffee shop, restaurant, and office customers that have joined us and are allowing us to fulfill our mission.”