FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Social enterprise coffee roastery perks up non-profit community
August 17, 2017
Smoke & Mirrors Coffee Co., Victoria’s newest small-batch coffee roastery, is delivering funds to local non-profits where they need it most while taking a scientific approach to coffee roasting. Launched in June 2017, the team of two scientists, Dr. Euan Thomson and Hannah Charnock, reinvest their profits into four community building organizations.
“Having spent time in the non-profit sector, we understand the monumental task of writing even a single grant application. When successful, grant money is restricted to specific, pre-defined purposes. As a result, organizations forfeit the flexibility to deal with changing circumstances while their staff spend considerable resources juggling applications, reports and administration of funds – resources that could be directly spent on the organization’s mission”, says Thomson. In response to this challenge, he and Charnock launched the social enterprise Smoke & Mirrors Coffee Co. to support non-profits with unrestricted cash donations. As a social enterprise, Smoke & Mirrors Coffee Co. aims to maximize social impact by applying commercial strategies to benefit the community.
Smoke & Mirrors is supporting four not-for-profit partners: Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT), which engages the Victoria region in conservation efforts that protect and support habitats and wildlife; Restorative Justice Victoria (RJV), a key partner for local police, facilitating community focused alternative solutions to crime; UVic Women in Science, a community engagement hub for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in Victoria; and The Latitude Project, which brings critical infrastructure to remote communities in Central America. The organizations received their first cash donation in July, and Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. stepped up to match this donation. Smoke& Mirrors plans to collaborate with a different local business for each round of donations to amplify the impact of their contributions.
“As a society, we are learning the hard way that our consumption choices have environmental and social consequences. Through innovation and a boldly caring approach, Smoke and Mirrors is offering coffee drinkers a simple way to positively impact our natural environment,” says Alanah Nasadyk, HAT Community and Development Coordinator. RJV Executive Director Dr. Jessica Rourke offers this perspective: “With restorative justice, our communities are experiencing the social benefits of moving away from a punitive approach and focusing on victim needs, addressing root causes of crime, and reinforcing social fabric. The efforts of Smoke and Mirrors will help us focus on victims of crime and build community resilience.”
Smoke & Mirrors coffee is available online at www.smokeandmirrors.coffee or from the community partners listed above. Free delivery by bicycle is available in Victoria, Esquimalt and Oak Bay. To learn more in person, look for the Smoke & Mirrors booth at Movie Under the Maltworks at Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. on August 26 and at Picot Night Market in Fernwood Square on August 31st.
Address: 2010 Government St., Victoria, BC, V8S 1P3