So what’s up with Loam Coffee this year? As the dude who started it you’d figure I’d have a good pulse of what’s going on, where we’re going, and an action plan to get there … right? You are correct. While most of our vision, mission, goals, objectives, and action plans are “in-house” for our purposes I thought it’d be fun to share with you some of the things that are brewing (pun intended). The scary part is be open with this and making it public. Ready? Here we go.
What We’re About
I never started Loam Coffee to be strictly about buying green coffee beans, roasting, and then selling coffee. I know that sounds odd to admit but it was never the sole purpose. The intentions, goal, vision, and mission were always more than that even though I’ve never been too public about it. Much time and effort has been spending branding, marketing, and the fun of roasting and selling coffee. Since we’re now doing more events we can add serving coffee to the list. But there’s more …
So what is Loam Coffee about? We’ve been hammering through and word-smithing our mission statement that we now finally have on our website. It’s probably been about a year or so in the making. Even then it will not be the final version, but here it goes …
Our mission is to create new businesses and opportunities around our passions for coffee and cycling. We believe that when we come together and leverage our assets within the mountain bike community it creates jobs, builds trails, fosters growth and brings life where it was declining.
Our dream is to see our passions come together to bring a positive change everywhere we go. Whether it's sitting in our neighborhood coffee shop or ripping down our favorite trail.
Will you join us on the ride?
(Kudos to my friend Jason in B.C who really captured the words well for this. He’s a former North Shore rider from the early 2000s who now runs his own web design and branding company)
Ok, so what does that mean? In short, we want to leverage Loam Coffee and our relationships within the mountain biking community to simultaneously be involved in economic development in communities in decline. Often times these are struggling rural communities that have had a downturn in their local economy due to mill or mine closures, etc. Now as to our actual or specific plans for involvement and where? That part continues to brew and develop.
I’ve started the process of launching a cycling team at Warner Pacific University in Portland. Loam Coffee is now a general sponsor of the athletics program, but more so I’m moving forward one step at a time … very slow steps … of starting this club / team from scratch. We’re now registered with USA Cycling and I’m working on my coaching certification. Ok, but why? I care. I care and have come to deeply love the students there. Warner Pacific is unique in that it is the most ethnically diverse university in Oregon with 63% of our students are minorities. Also, we have a large number of first generation college students as well as those who’re DACA recipients. How amazing would it be when we can field a mountain biking … cyclocross … road racing team from this student body? Yeah, I’m stoked too. For the past 4 years I’ve been teaching a class on bicycles, equity, and race so this topic is near and dear to my own heart.
For me much of the theme through this all is about equity and access. Do we want to be the best we can as a coffee brand within the mountain biking industry? For sure. And yet at the same time to be involved in projects, places, and with people who we love and are pulling for. It’s as simple as that.
So there you go … as 2019 marches forward these are some of the guiding principles and projects that we’re grateful to be involved in. Oh, and an upcoming podcast. (more on that later)
Words by Sean Benesh, Loam Coffee Founder and Brand Manager. Photos by Jason O’Neil, Sean Benesh, and one stock photo from unsplash.com.