1951 Coffee Strengthens Support of Refugee Community with New Coffee Line

The Bay Area-based company’s new line of roasted coffee was created in partnership with Coffee Manufactory and is available now at 1951 Coffee’s flagship location in Berkeley, Calif.

BY CHRIS RYAN
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE

Cover photo courtesy of 1951 Coffee Company

In 2015, Doug Hewitt and Rachel Taber founded 1951 Coffee Company as a nonprofit business promoting the well-being of the refugee community through job training and employment. While the business has consisted of two cafés and a barista training program, earlier this month 1951 Coffee added a new element to its business: roasted coffee.

1951 Coffee’s new line of specialty coffees—created in partnership with Oakland, Calif.-based Coffee Manufactory—features high-quality, direct-trade, single-origin coffees. Doug says they decided to launch the line as a way to offer further support to the refugee community, with 100 percent of proceeds from the roasted coffee going toward the cause. “For a while, supporters from around the country have been asking for ways to be a part of our mission,” Doug says. “This coffee line enables us to offer coffee, in support of our mission,  that people can serve at home, in their offices, or anywhere they want to share a cup. It is important for us to increase our overall revenue in order to be able to grow and sustain our free barista training program for refugees.”

That barista training program, which operates in both Oakland and San Diego, produces about 100 graduates annually. On the café side, 1951 Coffee’s two locations are run by employees who have either come through the United States’ formal refugee program, have been granted asylum, or have special immigrant visas.

Now roasted coffee is a part of the company’s offerings as well; Doug says he and Rachel decided to choose Coffee Manufactory as its roasting partners because of the companies’ shared values. “In addition to being able to meet our needs as we scale up 1951 Coffee’s operations, Coffee Manufactory’s belief in our mission and ethical sourcing practices were a great match,” Doug says. “As we shared with them our goals and dreams for this coffee line, they seemed just as excited as we are to see it take off and be successful.”

Rachel Taber and Doug Hewitt started 1951 Coffee Company as a nonprofit business promoting the well-being of the refugee community through job training and employment. Photo by Angelica Ekeke. 

With the new coffee line, 1951 Coffee will have an additional revenue stream that will help the business expand its reach across the country. “Growing the revenue of 1951 Coffee will enable us to expand our barista training program to geographies outside of the San Francisco Bay Area,” says Doug. “There are many refugee communities that can benefit from the connections and opportunities that 1951 Coffee will build across the United States. This line will enable people in other regions to be a part of our mission by creating more welcoming communities for refugees through coffee.”

The new line of 1951 Coffee is available for purchase at the company’s flagship location in Berkeley, and will also be available at select Bay Area cafés, including Third Culture Bakery in West Berkeley.

About Chris Ryan 235 Articles
Chris Ryan (he/him) is Barista Magazine's online copy editor and a freelance writer and editor with a background in the specialty coffee industry. He has been content director of Sustainable Harvest and the editor of Fresh Cup Magazine.