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Partnership leads to fundraising program

Three blends of Schuil Coffee will support Wedgwood Christian Services’ mission.

June 14, 2019
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(As seen on WZZM TV 13) Schuil Coffee Company is partnering with Wedgwood Christian Services to pilot a new fundraising program.

The Grand Rapids-based coffee roaster has curated three coffee blends whose sales will support the nonprofit.

Tim Volkema, CEO of Schuil Coffee, said he began brainstorming the idea for a program like this more than six months ago.

“We were trying to figure out as a company how to engage more effectively with organizations that we'd like to partner with and support,” Volkema said.

He said the company is happy to fulfill requests for gift cards and gift baskets for auction, but he wanted to be involved more proactively.

Many people buy coffee anyway, so he thought selling on behalf of a nonprofit would work well to raise money for a good cause.

Randy Zylstra, Wedgwood president and CEO, said Wedgwood and the company felt as though they had comparable values, so they decided to try the partnership.

“It's an organization I'd been familiar with for a long time, and I knew that they had a strong management team, and I believe in what they do,” Volkema said. “It just seemed like a good fit to try to work through what I knew would be some kinks, and that they'd be pretty easy to work with, and they have been.”

The Wedgwood Blend is a medium roast blend of Brazilian and Colombian coffees, with rich, smoke and brown butter tasting notes; the cost is $12.

The Colombian Fair Trade is certified 100% USDA organic, with cashew, bright acidity and heavy finish tasting notes; the cost is $13.

The Burundi Kayanza comes from a women-owned co-op in East Africa. The coffee has tasting notes of citrus marmalade, apricot and bergamot and costs $16.

Wedgwood receives a “very substantial” portion of the profit for each bag sold, Volkema said.

The 12-ounce bags can be purchased individually or through a subscription at wedgwood.org/shop.

The funds will help support Wedgwood’s services, such as recreation therapy, employment training and the Manasseh Project to stop human trafficking in West Michigan.

Besides giving more awareness for the Schuil brand, Volkema said the program will help his company continue to refine its fulfillment processes.

“It just created a win-win situation for both of us,” Zylstra said.

Zylstra said no one knows what to expect from the program, but he said there has been excitement from employees initially.

If the program works out, Volkema said it could be applicable to other organizations, as well.

He said he would be willing to work with other organizations now during the pilot stage. Those interested should contact him at tim@schuilcoffee.com.

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