This month, Grand Rapids Girl sat down (virtually) to learn about the new coffee company in town, Bloom & Grow Coffee, and the mission behind the new local endeavor.
Bloom & Grow is more than just a coffee company. In fact, selling coffee is just the vehicle for a bigger purpose, which is to serve a particular community of women in need.
At the start, founder Abby Nelson saw a need and knew she wanted to help. Abby’s history is in substance abuse and working with women in recovery. While working at a rehab facility, Abby fell in love with the women, but she saw a gap in the programming. There was nothing for them except for AA, which is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Most of the women she would work with would start with AA, and then go right back into rehab within 3 months of leaving. She began to dig into why this was happening.
What she found was the majority of these women in recovery was that they didn’t have a support system in place to succeed…a group of people who didn’t use substances. Whether you are in rehab or not, finding a whole new group of friends would be challenging for anyone! So it seemed to Abby like the women were a few steps behind at the get-go.
Abby founded Bloom & Grow to respond to this need. The programming offered currently is monthly community events for women in recovery where they can create relationships, and connect with already existing programming. Bloom & Grow also offers professional development – from finance to nutrition, Bloom & Grow uses their network to bring in professionals to share the various skills they have. Doing this brings value back into life – a new purpose!
Abby has a soft spot for Haiti and loves the coffee. Selling coffee allows Bloom & Grow to bring in a regular, trackable income that we can use to fund their programming for women in recovery. It also allows us to provide jobs for coffee farmers in developing countries. This coffee is considered rare and specialty and they decided on this one after sourcing it. There isn’t a lot of roasters in Grand Rapids that do direct trade relationships, so Bloom & Grow decided to niche into the specialty trade – which is to say they work with an organization that has the relationship with farmers and know there is a living wage, that up to par and is sustainable. They believe this model is truly the best of both worlds. It gives us the opportunity to grow bigger, creates more jobs, and offer even more services to women.
Abby brought on partner Megan Ditmers close to 9 months ago. Knowing she needed a working website for Bloom & Grow, she reached out to the Grand Rapids Bossbabes group for help. Megan from Menhua Studios responded and long story, short, Abby went ahead with a re-do of her website! Megan and Abby worked closely together on their marketing plan and during the process, built a great friendship. Abby is so passionate about her mission coupled with the coffee industry, that she needed Megan to partner in order to fill in the business gaps. She never wanted to do this alone, and the relationship just grew from there. Ultimately Megan came on earlier than planned in order to sustain Bloom & Grow through the COVID-19 crisis.
50% of the profits from the Bloom & Grow coffee sales run the non-profit so you know when purchasing that your money is well spent.
Grand Rapids Girl had a chance to test the coffee and we can attest to that the coffee is delicious!
Check out these upcoming Bloom & Grow events on Facebook including: