The LGBTQ-owned cold-brew startup is donating $1 of every sale to the Trevor Project through the end of June.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Explorer Cold Brew Co.
For Explorer Cold Brew Co. founder Cason Crane (he/him), owning an openly LGBTQ-identifying business has never been something he has tried to hide. “There’s a surprising number of LGBT-owned companies out there that aren’t public about it,” Cason says. “It’s something I would never shy away from.” However, he acknowledges that this isn’t the case for countless others out there, especially young people.
Cason says that LGBTQ+ teens are about five times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, and that the rate is even higher for trans youths. Awareness, however, has a hugely positive impact on that rate. “I heard a shocking statistic that truly resonated with me growing up, and it’s that for every one accepting adult, parent, or non-parent, that can lead to a reduction of 40% in the chance of a teen attempting suicide.”
Although Cason came out to a supportive community at 14, this wasn’t the case for one of his friends, an LGBT-identifying teen who committed suicide in high school. “Ever since my friend’s death, I felt so shocked by the fact that someone I knew and loved would take her own life,” he says. “I now have a lifelong passion for suicide prevention, especially in the LGBT community.” And so, Cason first connected with the LGBTQ+ youth nonprofit the Trevor Project while climbing Mount Everest and the Seven Summits as one of the firstly openly gay folks to do so, raising $135,000 for them while doing this.
Several years later, Cason has been able to come full circle by supporting the Trevor Project again through his cold brew business. Cason’s love for coffee began during his travels abroad and experiencing coffee culture through the lens of other countries. During the pandemic, this passion re-ignited when he developed a cold-brew addiction, but wanted to be able to drink it without getting incredibly wired. By connecting coffee to his active lifestyle and wanderlust, Explorer became the name for this multi-caffeine level cold-brew concentrate brand. He launched the business in 2020 with the help of coffee gurus like David Donde (Truth Coffee), Dalia Jaffal (Kalei Coffee Co.), and 2019 World Barista Championship fourth-place finisher Mikael Jasin (SSG Coffee).
For every product sale through the end of June, Explorer will donate $1 of it to the Trevor Project. The nonprofit is a U.S.-based national organization that “provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning youth.” They offer countless virtual and phone support services for these folks to seek guidance from trained counselors, as well as educational resources for middle and high school classrooms. Although the donations last through the end of June, the awareness is year-round. As the company grows, they hope to find other organizations that they can support as well. For now, Explorer also makes regular contributions to the nonprofit Charity:water to bring clean water to developing nations.
To support Explorer Cold Brew Co., the Trevor Project, and Charity:water, you can check out the web store here.