The Southern California-based roasting company recently surpassed 2 million pounds of food provided to local food banks.
BY CHRIS RYAN
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Wild Goose Coffee Roasters
In 2008, Nathan Westwick joined with a team of like-minded coffee enthusiasts to create Wild Goose Coffee Roasters, a Redlands, Calif.-based coffee company with the mission to not just serve responsibly sourced, high-quality coffee, but to impact local communities. From its inception, Wild Goose has provided this impact through food donation—for every pound of coffee its partner cafés sells, Wild Goose donates 10 pounds of food to a food bank in that café’s area.
With 10+ years of this practice, Wild Goose recently reached a milestone: The roasting company, through its partner cafés, has now provided more than 2 million pounds of food to local food banks. “When something as simple as drinking coffee takes on the additional meaning of providing food to families in need in a café’s own neighborhood, it becomes something beautiful,” Nathan says.
Nathan has long been involved in work that aims to positively impact others—before starting Wild Goose, he spent 15 years as a high school math teacher. However, his entrepreneurial itch led him to create a company that would also have a charitable side, and Wild Goose—and its food-donation focus—was born. “This felt like something I could throw myself fully into, as philanthropy has been in my blood for a long time,” Nathan says. “And since coffee often is consumed with food, it felt like a natural fit.”
The premise of Wild Goose’s food-donation program is that customers can support their local communities through their choice of coffee, Nathan explains. “As a wholesaler, we earmark funds from every order, donating enough money to buy 10 pounds of food to the café’s local food bank,” he continues. “So Rosebud Coffee in Pasadena provides food for a Pasadena food bank.”
With the 2-million-pound marker now hit, Nathan says Wild Goose doesn’t plan to make any changes to the food-donation side of its business, and that they’re excited to continue impacting communities as they grow as a company. “We’ve seen a consistent growth pattern with cafés who serve our coffee, and I’d like to think that (other than the quality, of course) this food- donation program plays an important role,” he says. “It’s definitely a privilege for us to work in this manner, and it adds an extra layer of meaning to our work, which is deeply satisfying.”