TOMS Gets Into the Coffee Business

Like the shoes that made TOMS famous, the coffee comes with a built-in plan for doing social good. In this case, the “give,” as TOMS employees call it, is water: For every bag of TOMS beans sold, a person in Rwanda, Malawai, Guatemala, Honduras, or Peru — the areas where TOMS is sourcing beans — will get clean water for a week; for every cup, someone gets water for a day. As with the shoes, an outside partner will handle the giving — Water for People, an international charity based in Denver, which is also where TOMS Roasting Co. will be roasting its beans. The coffee company’s simple tagline: “Coffee for you, water for all.”

You know our feelings about “Caring Capitalism”: If you are buying coffee because you like the coffee, great — the side benefit is that some amount of money will be given to a charity. TOMS is a for-profit business and as such, its main goal is to make a profit. But if you want to help people get access to clean water, instead of buying a bag of coffee to get someone clean water for a week, you can donate $20 to a well-known organization like Charity: water and get someone clean water for several years.


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