Giving Back and Helping Small Businesses: A Fresh Path Through Coffee

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

The Powells love coffee! I mean, we really love coffee. The rich aroma of those freshly ground beans wafts through our cabin making every morning just a little bit better. Just as wonderful as the smell of coffee and the jolt of caffeine is the idea that, with each cup, we have the chance to give back to a variety of causes. In the midst of COVID-19, small businesses need our business, but, in the case of the companies listed below, they also need to be able to continue helping others. Right now is a great chance to order some delicious coffee and support a cause that connects with your heart.

Never thought about the coffee and giving back connection? Let me educate you! There are many coffee companies that use a portion of their profits to benefit others. Here are just a few we’ve tried.

Land of a Thousand Hills: It’s fitting that we begin with this coffee company because Land of a Thousand Hills was our first experience with coffee companies that use their products to promote the well-being of others. Their tag line is “Drink Coffee. Do Good.” When we lived near a Land of a Thousand Hills coffeehouse, we loved the atmosphere, the baked goods, and the feeling of getting a great cup of coffee while we helped developing farmers and communities in Rwanda. Their website says, “It’s not just a transaction. You're part of a community that invests in coffee farming villages to provide living wages, education, healthcare, and clean water, while celebrating the craft of specialty coffee.” From their first venture in the Atlanta area, they have grown to seven, going on nine, coffeehouses, and have other locations in Houston, Boston, and Bradenton, Florida. This is a tough time for businesses like coffeehouses, so please consider ordering some coffee from You’ll get great coffee and help others!

Yield Coffee Roasters: Based in the Cincinnati area, this coffee company specializes in “relational coffee and sustainable development.” How, you may ask, can coffee be relational? The people at Yield work hand in hand with farmers and importers to bring their customers coffees that are ethically sourced and traceable, which means they know exactly where their coffee comes from and how it got to you, the consumer. They roast their coffee every weekend so that it is wonderfully fresh, and, with each cup of exceptional coffee, their website says that you get a unique story of each life that touched it. Because of your support, a portion of Yield’s coffee sales are directly invested into sustainable development projects in coffee-producing countries. So what sustainable development are they working on now? Bathrooms. In our country sanitation and running water are no big deal, but in the developing world, good sanitation can save lives. Just think about going through COVID-19 without being able to wash your hands with clean water--pretty scary, huh? Yield is working with Amigos for Christ to provide these bathrooms, complete with flushing toilets, hand-washing sinks and a shower, to families in La Grecia, Nicaragua. Find out more at

Grounds and Hounds: You guessed it--this coffee company helps animals in need. Twenty percent of their profits support rescue initiatives and organizations. On their website they say, “While our mission is to eradicate unnecessary animal euthanasia and improve animal welfare, our passion as a company is to provide an amazing coffee experience for our supporters every time they brew a cup of our coffee. Our beans are 100% Fair trade and 100% Organic certified, sourced from the best growing regions throughout the world.” Their coffee blends, complete with dog-themed names, come in light, medium, and dark roasts, as well as single-serve pods. Want great coffee that helps puppies in need? Go to

Coosa Coffee: Jeff found Coosa Coffee, an Alabama-based company, online. This company offers single origin and premium blended coffees. (Not sure what “single origin” coffee is? I wasn’t either. According to the, single origin coffee is “a coffee that’s sourced from one single producer, crop, or region in one country.” Now you know.) When you buy this company’s coffee you support efforts to clean up lakes and rivers. In fact, a portion of each sale goes to support volunteers who go out on lakes and rivers across the country to keep waterways and bodies of water clean and safe. Check them out at

Public Lands Coffee: The Powells love the great outdoors! Around north Georgia, we can hike the Benton McKay Trail, the Appalachian Trail, and many other trails throughout state and national forests and wilderness areas. (Well, we could. Hopefully, we’ll get to do that again once the trails open back up.) So, when we found out that we could drink coffee and preserve our public lands at the same time, it was mind blowing! Public Lands Coffee offers three different blends named “White Blaze,” a light roast; “Wild East” a medium roast; and “Great Smoky,” a dark roast. Public Lands Coffee’s “big idea” is simple--you buy coffee, funds go to volunteers from trail maintenance clubs and non-profits who take care of the Appalachian Trail, and work gets done on the trail. One cup of coffee can help those who maintain over 2,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Find out more about this company and the family who owns it at

Lost Gringo’s Coffee: We learned about this coffee company through a story we did on Adam and Randi Blaylock of Cross Mountain Mission in Nicaragua. We had known the Blaylocks in Mississippi and have followed their journey to help people in Central America. One of the ways they support their mission is through Lost Gringo’s Coffee. Their coffee comes from a farm high in the mountains of Jinotega, Nicaraugua, where it grows alongside coco and citrus plants. It is handpicked and roasted in the city of Jinotega. The Lost Gringos website says, “By purchasing this coffee you are helping break the cycle of living in extreme poverty.” Sounds like a great reason to have another cup of coffee! (As if I needed an excuse!) Check out this company at and the Cross Mountain Mission at

Lion and Lamb Coffee: I would be remiss not to include Lion and Lamb Coffee of Orange County, California. One hundred percent of the profits, yes, that’s 100%, go to help solve problems in the world like hunger, thirst, and homelessness. Their coffee is fair trade, ethically sourced, and organic. Their motto, “Change the World, Start with Coffee,” is not just something they say, it’s what they do, it’s how they run their business. With every bag sold, they donate one meal, plant three trees, and donate six months of clean water. So far, their customers have helped them provide 512 meals, plant 1325 trees, and provide 7225 months of clean water. I don’t know about you, but I like knowing that my coffee addiction supports more than me. Find out more about this company at

What about you? Do you have your own favorite coffee that gives back? Check us out on Instagram @freshpaths and send us a message about your favorite coffee!

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