Habitat for Humanity, Hugo Coffee team up for java jolt | ParkRecord.com

Habitat for Humanity, Hugo Coffee team up for java jolt

ReStore shoppers can buy three blends to support nonprofit

The Habitat for Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties is selling specially branded coffee beans at its ReStore in Silver Summit. Kari Dunn, director of the ReStore, says the beans help raise awareness for the organizations mission of helping people who need affordable housing.

Habitat for Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties may be using coffee beans to build its next house for a resident who needs a helping hand.

Not literally, though.

The nonprofit organization, whose mission is to help provide affordable housing for people in need, recently partnered with Hugo Coffee to launch their own line of coffee. Habitat for Humanity is selling the three blends — "Builder's Choice" dark roast, "House Blend" light roast and "ReStore Roast" decaf — at its ReStore, with proceeds going to support local housing programs.

The coffee, which is offered in 12-ounce bags, has been on sale at the ReStore — a donation store where patrons can find used goods — for about a month and a half. Kari Dunn, the store's director of operations, said the brews are getting a great response so far, even though Habitat for Humanity isn't the first place people consider when they want a hot cup of Joe.

"I mean, people don't generally think to buy coffee at a place like this, but because we serve it and it's right up by the front register — and because people support us — it's like, 'If you're going to buy coffee, why not support a local nonprofit at the same time?'" she said. "And for coffee lovers, it's just another way for them to get Hugo if that's their brand."

The revenue from the coffee will be funneled into efforts like building affordable houses, acquiring land for houses and home maintenance for people who need the organization's assistance. But Dunn said the money isn't the most important part of the initiative.

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"It's obviously not a huge chunk of what we do here, but it's great for getting more awareness out in the community," she said. "I think when people enjoy some of that coffee, and they make that connection, it helps them remember us. And the ReStore is so well known on its own, people sometimes don't even know it's part of Habitat. This is a good reminder of that connection."

Added Melanie Seus, development officer for the nonprofit, in an email to The Park Record: "It has been a great opportunity to remind our customers about Habitat and the difference their support is making for hard-working local families each morning as they enjoy a delicious cup of coffee."

Keeping Habitat for Humanity's efforts at the forefront of the community is particularly important due to the rising cost of living in Summit and Wasatch counties, Dunn said. People are eligible for the organization's assistance if they make between 30 and 80 percent of the area's mean income.

"There are people who have roots here who perhaps aren't able to get into their first homes because around them it's gotten too expensive," she said. "Most people come to this area because they like the feel of it and the diversity and the hominess of it. If people want that, our mission becomes incredibly important to keep a diverse community here."

Dunn added that it's been wonderful working with Hugo Coffee, whose headquarters are nearby in Silver Summit.

"Hugo is such a well-revered local brand, and they're literally less than half a mile from us here at the ReStore," she said. "So when we say local coffee, we're almost next door. We're really proud to support other businesses in the community. We love the opportunity to put together two really good brands."

For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties, visit the organization's website at habitat-utah.org.