Better Businesses, Outdoors

Better Businesses: Sweet Aroma Coffee

Better Businesses: Sweet Aroma Coffee Although coffee shops may not be directly related to the outdoor industry, most of us crazy, outdoor, enthusiasts are fueled by that glorious liquid. With out coffee, we may not reach that summit, get up for that ungodly timed morning run, get on that wall at first light, or plow through that article for Trek Tech. We love coffee. We also love actively fighting injustices, and not just crimes against the earth. Trek Tech is stoked to announce Sweet Aroma Coffee as the next Better Business. Not only are they providing the public with great coffee, they’re avidly fighting something we all want to help fight, Sex Trafficking. Buy their coffee products and a portion of their gross profit goes to a partnered organization that directly works to rescue women from sex trafficking in The Philippines and Thailand. Coffee and crime fighting? I think TT can get behind that. We talked with Christin, founder of Sweet Aroma Coffee, and asked her a bit about her endeavor with this shop.

If you could sum up your company in one statement, what would you say?
Sweet Aroma sells coffee to fight sex trafficking because we believe these women deserve real hope for a bright future and a way out of the industry.

Can you tell us a bit more about the coffee side of the Sweet Aroma? (Where the coffee originates, your relationship with the supplier…etc.)
Our coffee comes from all over the world and it’s so delicious! We use two roasters, Mission Roasters Coffee and Spero Coffee. Both roasters have huge hearts for helping others. It was really important to us to find people who were like-minded and passionate about producing a great product. Our monthly subscriptions feature two different types of coffee—usually one is from Asia/Africa and the other is Central/South American. Our individual orders typically depend on what’s in stock that month and is usually featured on our website (Trek Tech checked up on these roasting companies and was pleased to see both are responsibly sourcing, giving back to their communities, and roasting some seriously quality stuff).

Where did the idea and mission to rescue women from sex trafficking originate?
I was traveling around the world on an 11 month mission trip called the World Race and this idea to start a coffee business that would help women leave the sex industry started forming in my mind. I wasn’t really sure what that meant but over the last year or so it’s become an online store where people can purchase a monthly coffee subscription or individual coffee bags and mugs and know that they’re part of a bigger story. We donate 35% of our gross profit to our partner, Wipe Every Tear. 10996145_934371493263932_3817749983821905761_o Why a coffee shop?
Coffee is such a unique way to build community and create awareness for injustice. We thought it would be amazing to combine two passions and start an online coffee company that provided excellent coffee and benefited women who have left the sex trade in search of a fresh start.

Regarding the sex traffic rescuing: how are you a part of the rescue and who are you partnered with?
We are partnered with an amazing group called Wipe Every Tear. They have people in the country who go into the bars of The Philippines and Thailand and form friendships with the girls working in the sex trafficking industry. Through prayer and a lot of trust, they form relationships with the girls and invite them to come to safe houses strategically placed in the cities. Once the girl decides to leave, they are taken to the safe house and given time and space to begin healing. Once they are ready, they start schooling (either high school or enroll in collegiate courses) and ultimately find jobs. They’re starting a new life and it’s absolutely amazing to watch the transformation.

How has your religious stance helped or hindered your company’s progress?
I believe it’s helped because we wouldn’t be where we are today without God’s provision. The love, prayers and support of those around us have been so important on our journey building Sweet Aroma. I believe this is a God-given dream and that it’s so much bigger than my team or me. We’ve learned so much and it’s been incredibly rich and rewarding to work with the different people that have blessed our paths over this last year.

How can we the public get involved and help?
Awareness is so key in the fight against sex trafficking. It’s so important to learn the facts and to tell others about what’s going on. Also, making sure the companies you shop with are “slave labor free” is a great way to make informed purchases. We’d love your support by drinking our coffee or using our mugs too! You can rest assured knowing that 35% of the gross profit goes to Wipe Every Tear. Or head to our site and learn about Wipe Every Tear and donate to them directly. 11004613_934057389962009_7966248974392254851_o What does the future hold for Sweet Aroma Coffee?
I think the future is bright for Sweet Aroma. We’re constantly changing, trying new things and looking for ways to partner with other organizations passionate about giving a voice to the voiceless. This past year has been amazing and I’m super excited about what the next year holds!

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Wendy Ewing

Wendy Ewing is a Washignton native and Northern California transplant. Growing up at the base of the North Cascades, her entire upbringing revolved around the mountains. With her family, Wendy spent most of her childhood backpacking, mountaineering, skiing, and mountain biking. With a strong passion for wilderness ethics and personal growth and development, she decided to pursue building Wild Beginnings Adventure Co. Wendy has written gear reviews for Trek Tech, Innovation & Tech Today, and Active Junky. In the winter season you can find her back country skiing and both trail running and mountain biking the rest of the year. Wendy lives in Shasta Lake, CA with her husband, John, and their adventure retriever, Sauvie.