“We want to be an example to every other company that they can take a risk and employ those people who have checked the box. There doesn’t have to be any difference in quality if employees have been in prison or not.” – Second Chance Coffee Company
Like many of you, I love coffee, and I can’t live without it. But have you heard Second Chance Coffee Company? I can’t say how surprised I was when I got this special coffee brand and its story.
Second Chance Coffee Company is a coffee roasting business of Wheaton, III founded in 2007. The company roasts and distributes coffee under its premium brand ‘I Have a Bean’. Leonard said, I Have a Bean is now at 11 Whole Foods Markets in the Chicago area and was the No. 1 selling coffee. Yes, it is professional and popular, but why is it special? Because all employees are ex-offenders since Leonard and his partners have sold roasted coffee from 2007.
“We look at people’s references and at FBI background checks to make sure they’ve been in prison,” he said. Second Chance Coffee Company primarily aims to positively impact on changing spiritual, social and economic conditions of ex-offenders. Leonard not only provides skills training programs to ex-offenders but also works closely with post-prison support organizations.
Jim was a former drug dealer in Chicago and spent 19 years in jail. He was given a second chance by the company and worked for it in the past few years. And now he is responsible for managing mechanics at a large utility company and making $85000 per year.
John, a partner of Second Chance Coffee Company, he was an ex-offender as well. “His contribution was far in excess of what we’ve been able to pay him, so we gave him part of the company,” Leonard said.
– by Xinru Liu