Female-owned Durham coffee shop directly supports women coffee growers

Local Original

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Do you ever smell the aroma and taste a cup of coffee and wonder about the story behind it? Where did the bean come from? Who cared for the plant, grew it, and picked it?

Anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of that labor is done by women.

“Because coffee is grown in places where women typically aren’t allowed to own land — either by custom or by law — oftentimes they work incredible hours on the farm but don’t get paid,” said Lane Mitchell with Cafe Femenino Coffee.

“So we realized that if (we) could pay women directly for the beans, they would invest more in the farm, invest more in the land, and invest more in the community.”

The beans are roasted in Hillsborough and make their way to female-run businesses like Guglhupf Cafe in Durham, which is owned by Claudia Cooper.

“The coffee is fantastic and it empowers them to really do what they believe needs to be done — not only with the business aspect or what needs to be done or whatever they’re doing, but then supporting what they want to support,” said Cooper.

It also gives them the raw dollar that can make that happen.

“And I thoroughly believe in the strength of women leaders, even on a small scale, larger scale, and it’s pretty fantastic that it just feeds through,” Cooper said.

The local and global community both benefit. That includes better educational opportunities for the children of female growers.

“So, they have both the income and the resources to effect change, positive change, in their communities on their own terms,” Cooper said.

And it helps a lot of coffee drinkers get that coffee kick while also knowing the world is a bit of a better place because of it.

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