Buena Vida Coffee, founded in 2010 by Marquette graduate Kate Novotny, donates one meal for every bag of coffee sold to a child at the Sociedad Amigos de los Niños orphanage in Honduras. In partnership with Stone Creek Coffee, the organization imports coffee from Honduras to support Honduran coffee farmers.
Since its inception, the nonprofit has sold coffee as a fundraising mechanism to university clubs and organizations across the country through Global Brigade, a nonprofit umbrella organization that provides international service learning experiences for students in nine focus areas such as medicine, business and architecture. Buena Vida Coffee partners with Global Brigade to sell coffee to its chapters at institutions nationwide.
The nonprofit has also sold coffee to Marquette student groups and area parishes.
The expansion to New Berlin Sendik’s Food Market will expose the organization’s efforts on a broader base and will be the first physical retail space the company has occupied with its products, Novotny said.
“It gets us really in front of a new customer group and allows us to sell the coffee and explain our story and our mission to a new audience,” Novotny said.
Buena Vida Coffee will launch its expansion with trial sales at the retailer both Friday and Saturday. Depending on the success of the trial, the organization may consider further expansions into other retail locations locally and nationally.
The organization’s first priority is to understand what the local market looks like and from there think about scaling and expanding, Novotny said.
While Buena Vida Coffee donated 1,400 meals to orphaned kids in Honduras this past semester, the organization aims to give back 2,000 meals during the upcoming spring semester.
Both the expansion in sales and staff will help. While Novotny currently oversees four students who run the day-to-day operations of Buena Vida Coffee, next year the organization will hire an additional six. The initiative taken by students to manage Buena Vida Coffee differentiates the organization from competitors in the market, according to Novotny.
“I think overall this (expansion) is an opportunity to reaffirm all the talent we have on our student team and also reaffirm the value of our product to our consumers,” Novotny said.
New Berlin Sendik’s Food Market is located at 3600 S. Moorland Rd. in New Berlin. For more information about Buena Vida Coffee, visit http://www.buenavidacoffee.com/.