DULUTH, GA -- Pastors Brian Holland, Wes Patterson, and a team of staff members and volunteers developed Phoenix Community Coffee in 2010 as part of their ministry at Phoenix Community Church in Duluth.
Fueled by caffeine, they roast, grind, package and ship some 40,000 pounds of coffee per year out of the same room where church members congregate every Sunday. "Our dream was to become a church that gave away 100 percent of our Sunday offering and in order to do that we needed another form of revenue. We came across coffee as this great gathering point in the community and we just started down this rabbit hole of coffee," said Holland.
That rabbit hole led to partnerships with small coffee farmers in Panama and Guatemala and a production line that churns out coffee for a growing number of non profit organizations who sell it for $13 per pound. Partners include the Atlanta Mission (Formerly Atlanta Union Mission), which helps get homeless men and women off the streets, and Wellspring Living, a nonprofit that helps victims of sex trafficking. Nonprofits receive a portion of their sales. "We receive four dollars for every pound that's sold. It has an unlimited upside for us," said Atlanta Mission's Joe Sumrall.
And despite the steep price tag, Phoenix Commity Coffee gets a lot of repeat customers. "Our coffee is ranked in the top one percent in the world," said Holland.
The coffee is sold online at 85 individual websites. For a partial listing click here. "Our ultimate goal is to put 20 communities around the city that give 100 percent of their offering to help the underserved, disconnected, addicted, hurting, marginalized, under-resourced people of Atlanta," said Holland.