10 December 2010

Conviction: Coffee for a Cause

Hey! For today, a total treat. After catching sight of Three Avocados on Twitter the other day, I realized it fell right in with what I'm posting about this month. So I sent an email through their website hoping to get an interview, and voila! Joe Koenig, a founder of the company, responded promptly to my questions. Here they are!

Real Fine Place: Please, tell us just a little about Three Avocados:
3 Avocados: Three Avocados is a non-profit coffee company, using 100% of our profits to provide clean water in Uganda. We were founded in February of 2010, and had our first coffee available for sale in April of 2010. Currently, Three Avocados focuses on Uganda, but the plan is to expand into countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Hondouras, Guatemala, and virtually any coffee-producing country that has a need for clean water.

RFP: What inspired you to start a company where you give all of your profits away?
3A: I visited Uganda in January of 2010 and saw great need. I was amazed at the number of people living without basic necessities, such as clean water. I saw how much I truly had been blessed with and felt called to do something. I wanted to find a sustainable way to make a difference. Something that didn't rely on donations, and something that could be produced in Uganda. Giving away 100% of the profit seemed natural - I truly have all I need, while others in the world are in great need.

RFP: How has your life changed since Three Avocados was founded?
3A: I am a lot busier :) Three Avocados is something I work on in the evenings and weekends in an effort to grow the organization. I am passionate about Three Avocados and truly believe it has the potential to make a significant impact, in Uganda, in the world, and in the business world, by showing what we can achieve when we place others before ourselves.

I definitely have a new perspective on life since visiting Uganda and starting Three Avocados. I am significantly more thankful and aware of all of the blessings I have been given. I certainly did nothing to deserve to be born with every opportunity placed at my feet, nor did anyone in Uganda do anything to deserve to be born into a life of constant struggle. That blessing also comes with a responsibility to do everything I can to help my brothers and sisters throughout the world. Three Avocados gives me the opportunity to do that, which is an amazingly gratifying feeling.

It's a neato story, but even more exciting -- it's just that easy for you to get involved. Maybe send your favorite uncle a nice bag of Ugandan coffee?
This is the cool thing about service. Once you see that there is so much you can do (you don't need to start your own coffee company! start smaller!) it's hard not to just start doing it.

If you want to know more about Joe's company, visit the Three Avocados' website, or find them on Twitter and Facebook. Muchas Gracias to Joe & the rest of the Three Avocados crew!

Whew! One week down. But that isn't the end -- see you tomorrow for more of our regularly scheduled programming.

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