Through this collaboration, Getchusomegear is calling on other coffee companies to step up and match the initiative.
BY MARK VAN STREEFKERK
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
On September 12, Seattle Coffee Gear (SCG) and Getchusomegear announced via social media that they would be partnering to distribute $50,000 to Black and marginally identified coffee business owners. With Getchusomegear’s guidance, SCG will award 10 individuals $5,000 each. The first five awardees are exclusively Black women: LaNisa Williams of Barista Life LA and the upcoming Hustler’s Cup; BiankA AlloyN and SabreeN Naimah of Cute Coffee; Lori Jones of BLACK•OLOGY Coffee Company; Talitha Clemons of Bright Vibe Coffee; and Michelle Johnson of The Chocolate Barista.
The next five grant recipients will be announced in November. Follow @getchusomegear on Instagram for upcoming information about how to apply for the grants.
At the beginning of nationwide stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, SCG pledged to donate $150,000 to the coffee community impacted by the pandemic. “We quickly realized that the pandemic was amplifying a larger problem within the coffee community: the lack of resources, representation, and equity available among historically marginalized groups,” says Mike Atkinson, CEO of SCG. “As Seattle Coffee Gear grows, we know these communities have helped lay the coffee industry’s foundational groundwork and recognize that it is our responsibility to uplift and celebrate their contributions. … We’ve partnered with Getchusomegear to identify 10 business owners and steward these grants of $5,000 each. We hope to grow these relationships and watch them flourish for years to come.”
SCG are long-time followers of Getchusomegear, the donation-based product exchange service that gets coffee gear to marginally identified baristas. Founded by Chris Mcauley, the North Carolina-based Getchusomegear has expanded its team this year, including adding a new resume proofreading service for BIPOC or LGBTQ+ coffee workers.
SCG donated $5,000 to Getchusomegear to help cover shipping and administrative costs, and plans to donate products to their barista gear boxes. “They are doing amazing work and have deep connections within the marginalized coffee community. We felt like we needed a steward and community guidance on the distribution of these grants, and Chris was willing to help with this initiative. We are looking forward to a long term relationship with Getchusomegear as well as the grant recipients,” Mike says.
SCG’s generous grants are an example of how coffee companies can step up and walk the talk of supporting Black lives and other marginalized people in specialty coffee. Chris hopes that other companies will be inspired to match SCG’s donations. On Getchusomegear’s September 12 Instagram post, the team wrote, “this is how we do it, y’all! re-distribute your wealth, build new relationships, give up your power to make room for someone else … @seattlecoffeegear is re-distributing $50,000 + building a lasting relationship with each award winner. we challenge you to follow their lead.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Van Streefkerk is Barista Magazine’s social media content developer and a frequent contributor. He is also a freelance writer, social media manager, and novelist based out of Seattle. If Mark isn’t writing, he’s probably biking to his favorite vegan restaurant. Find out more on his website.