I am choosing two micro-goals that will serve our partners whether or not we move forward with a CPA cooperative.
Goal One: Get to know 3-5 local print shops owned by people of color or women. Learn about their services, capacity and reputation.
Goal Two: Find a source of ethically grown and produced coffee, ideally available through a locally owned business, preferably owned by people of color or women.
1. Printer Goal: Being able to respond to an anchor partner request for recommendations of local printers that embody community wealth building principles. In addition, we recently learned that printing services are a common expenditure that staff at one of our higher education anchors charge on their employer-issued credit card. The bulk of their business is currently going to corporate printers. The on-campus corporate print shop closed recently, so staff are receptive to recommendations right now.
In addition to meeting an anchor partner request, accomplishing this goal will allow us to address another low-hanging fruit when it comes to shifting the buying practices of our institutional partners, plus we will drive new business to locally-owned shops.
[Aside: Sadly, P&L Printing, Denver’s only worker-owned, union print shop went out of business a few years ago. It had been our number one choice of print shops for a number of years. If P&L were still in existence today, it is very likely that through the Center for Community Wealth Building and the Colorado Solidarity Fund, they could have accessed the support they needed to keep their business viable. Their closure was a big blow to the very nascent community wealth building movement in Denver, not to mention the young worker owners of the company.]
2. Coffee Goal: The Colorado Episcopal Church has started gathering data on common purchases across parishes and has been promoting the idea of aligning church purchases with their social and economic justice values. It turns out that most of their 104 parishes host regular Coffee Hours, consuming a considerable amount of coffee while enjoying time for fellowship. Starting with a well-established and fun Church tradition seems like an ideal way to connect a lot of parishioners to what this effort is about.
OBSTACLES TO OVERCOME
1. Competing demands on my time
2. My distaste for getting in my car and dealing with traffic
3. My lack of knowledge about either of these industries
4. Getting solid information on quality of printing companies’ services
5. Needing to get data from the Church on pounds of coffee required, price point, number of shipping locations, etc.
SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED
1. Research skills
2. Knowledge about the coffee industry
3. Knowledge about current coffee demand and requirements of parishes (identify # of parishes)
4. Cold calling skills
PEOPLE AND GROUPS TO WORK WITH
1. Metropolitan State University – get info on printing businesses frequented by staff.
2. Good Business Colorado, Small Business Majority, Colorado Minority Business Office, Black Chamber, Hispanic Chamber, Women’s Chamber, B Lab – identifying printers or coffee roasters
3. Episcopal Church of Colorado, Paul Alexander – specifics on current coffee purchasing practices
4. Center for Community Wealth Building interns or VISTA volunteer – maybe some help with the research
5. Colleagues in the nonprofit sector – printer recommendations
PLAN OF ACTION
1. During 10/10/19 Denver Anchor Network procurement check-in call, ask participants where they take their printing business
2. Develop matrix to collect information on printers
3. Follow-up on three leads that Yessica provided
4. Contact Chambers of Commerce and small business partner organizations for referrals
5. Investigate specific print shops (prioritizing based on community wealth building priorities) to learn about the services they provide; price points; and reputation.
6. Visit shops of interest and meet the owners
7. Develop list of “preferred” printers
Note: If appropriate, we will continue to build a relationship with these printers to explore their engagement as a preferred co-op vendor.
- See if Paul thinks it is a good idea to see if any parishioners are interested in joining this fun project to align the Church’s coffee supplier with Church values. If that seems like a good idea, get the word out over the next couple of months through Church communication channels. Plan to meet with interested individuals in mid-January. If this isn’t a good approach, then I will start working on my own in December. I like the idea of engaging volunteers to ignite their imaginations and to potentially build a core group that is interested in helping advance this agenda.
2. Learn about the different factors important to consider in terms of aligning coffee purchases with values of racial equity, social and economic justice, environmental sustainability
3. Learn about Church’s coffee consumption and current purchasing practices
4. Research local bulk coffee providers
5. Identify 1-4 to visit, based on community wealth building priorities
6. If there are good local options, discuss bulk purchasing options/requirements
7. If local options don’t exist, research Equal Exchange, Pachamama Coffee Cooperative, Just Coffee Co-op, etc.
DEADLINE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
Printing business identification: end of January 2020
Coffee vendor identification: end of February 2020, if working alone. April 1, 2020 if working with a volunteer committee.