Support These Businesses This Thanksgiving

Visit any Four Barrel on Thanksgiving--all three locations will be open til 3 and $1 from every drink sold will be donated to Standing Rock.

This Thanksgiving, a number of coffee companies are donating to important  causes. Show your support by frequenting one this weekend.

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection, to think about the things we are thankful for, and the good fortune that has befallen us. Right now, you might have some trouble remembering one, or any, good things that have happened this year. From celebrities dying to the water in Flint, Michigan being undrinkable, to an endless war in Syria, to the upset election in the U.S. that happened earlier this month named, it can feel like this year was a waking nightmare.

However, the suckiness of this year so far doesn’t mean we need be silent, and spend this Thanksgiving eating as much turkey as possible to avoid a shouting match with any of your relatives. Instead, you can still stand up for your beliefs, take action on the issues closest to you, and help those who need it the most.

This Thanksgiving, a number of coffee shops and roasters are participating in pledges, donations, and social causes that let you look 2016 in the eye and say, œThis year isn’t over, and it doesn’t have to totally suck.  So today, you can use your shop for a catalyst for change and if can’t do it in your own café, you can support one of the causes below by frequenting some of your local coffee businesses:


Protests have been ongoing for months to prevent the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens the main water source to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Coverage of the protests and attacks on participants from security and police have been staggering. Thousands of people are currently standing in solidarity to prevent the pipeline from going through the reservation, and these people need supplies and aid from us.

Water Avenue Coffee in Portland, Oregon has already donated 50 pounds of ground coffee and supplies to keep protesters awake and caffeinated. Kickapoo Coffee in Wisconsin has partnered with popular milk provider Organic Valley to send coffee and food to protesters. Although no direct sales or portions of sales goes to these donations, it’s important to show these companies that we support their efforts. Perhaps enjoy this camping thermos from Water Avenue, designed to keep coffee hot for 24 hours, and maybe use it to keep a cup of Kickapoo’s Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Charbanta, a Good Food Award finalist, nice and warm.

Water Avenue wishes "to support those who are standing up for clean water, environmental protection, and all living beings."
Water Avenue wishes “to support those who are standing up for clean water, environmental protection, and all living beings.”

If you want to see your money at work and live in the Bay Area, march on over to your nearest Four Barrel on Thanksgiving, where all three cafés will be donating a dollar for every drink sold to the Standing Rock Medic + Healer Council. This organization helps to coordinate medical supplies and healing resources to the protesters at Standing Rock.

Visit any of Four Barrel’s three locations (pictured above is their store on Valencia Street in the Mission) in San Francisco on Thanksgiving, where they will donate a dollar for every drink purchased to Standing Rock. Photo by Eric Wolfinger.


We’ve talked ad nauseum about Donald Trump, and throughout the cacophony that was the 2016 presidential election, we perhaps ignored some of the dangers that his running mate and now Vice President-elect, Mike Pence, represents to reproductive rights and women’s health. As governor of Indiana, Pence has blocked federal funding to Planned Parenthood, banned private insurance from covering abortions, and signed a bill that required remains of miscarriages to be cremated or buried. If you’ve looked at a feed or a tweet anytime in the last few weeks, you’ve probably seen that you can donate to Planned Parenthood, and make a donation in someone’s name.

Already, Mike Pence has received over 50,000 donations in his name, and Either/Or in Portland hopes to add to that number. Along with their partners at Tanglewood, they are selling combo packs, and donating $5 for every pack in Mike Pence’s name.

The Wormhole Café in Chicago also recently made a donation to Planned Parenthood, by pledging to match all tips made each weekend to a different charity. Last weekend, the Wormhole raised and donated over $1600. What’s next weekend? Standing Rock!


There’s enough happening at home to get incensed about, but let’s not forget to be thankful for the producers and families that make our coffees happen. At Portland Roasting Company, portions of sales of their Holiday Blend, in stores, online, and in the café as a drink offering, will go to Coffee Kids, an international organization that provides educational opportunities to families and young farmers to help support the continuation and sustainability of the coffee industry. Now through the end of December, you can order a cup of the Holiday Blend and PDX Roasting will donate $5 for every 5 pound bag they go through (which is sure to be a lot!) or they’ll donate $1 for every retail bag sold in stores or online.

Portland Roasting Company is donating $1 of all in-store and online sales of their Holiday Blend until the end of the year.

Yes, in many ways this year has been a disaster , but there’s still a lot of fight in all of us. Please consider supporting these coffee companies helping out those in need, and if you are inspired to make a difference, see if you can get your company to be involved too. Take action where you can, provide assistance to those in need, comfort for the afflicted, and keep hope alive.

From all of us at Barista Magazine, we hope you have a peaceful Thanksgiving full of good food, community, and lots of rest.

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