This International Coffee Day – Sunday, 1 October – celebrate the brew you love while supporting NPO Souper Troopers.
What’s your brew, bru? Whether you choose a cappuccino, flat white, espresso or good old filter coffee, at home or at work, what better way is there to get all the warm feels from your daily dose than by knowing you’re also helping someone in need?
Troopers Coffee is an initiative of Cape Town-based non-profit organisation Souper Troopers, which provides a comprehensive range of psychosocial developmental services to people living on the streets, enabling them to work towards independence. Selling their own privately labeled premium brand of high-quality locally roasted 100% Arabica coffee is one of the organisation’s important revenue streams, and helps fund services provided at Souper Trooper’s service centre in Woodstock, called The Humanity Hub.
How having a great cup of coffee can help a great cause
“Who doesn’t love coffee?!” crows Kerry Hoffman, founder of Souper Troopers, who is as enthusiastic about ensuring that Troopers Coffee Dignity Blend is high-quality java that will satisfy any coffee lover as she is about the benefits coffee sales provide to the “Troopers”, what the organisation calls the homeless and previously homeless beneficiaries of the programme.
The coffee operation also fits in with Souper Troopers’ commitment to job upliftment in tandem with social services. In 2022, thanks to funding from the City of Cape Town, Souper Troopers joined a group of NPOs headed by Khulisa Social Services and was able to employ some of its Troopers.
Weighing, packaging the coffee into the brand’s bright and shiny packaging, and preparing it for collection and delivery has created employment and important skills development for a few of these Troopers. But there’s no cutting corners just because it’s a non-profit, rather than a coffee business.
“It’s important that the product looks as good as it tastes,” adds Hoffman. “We all have general preconceptions of what it means to be homeless, but each homeless person has a unique story. Our programme works because it is holistic rather than a cookie-cutter approach. A vital part of this is upskilling and teaching the importance of standards and good work habits within the workplace.”
As we all have different tastes and equipment, Troopers Coffee can be purchased as whole beans, coffee ground for either espresso/Mokapot or filter/plunger, in 250g and 1kg pouches, and fully compostable Nespresso-compatible pods.
Coffee that works for business
Souper Troopers fills orders for home coffee drinkers and for offices, and is competitively priced with other premium brands. Businesses love the fact that the organisation is a B-BBEE Level 1 contributor, meaning that for those that are eligible, company BEE points for preferential procurement can be earned, adds Hoffman.
Souper Troopers was founded by Hoffman in 2014 when she began sharing soup and sandwiches with the homeless out of the boot of her car. It has grown into a full-service organisation that assists in the transformation of the homeless, providing the most basic needs (like clothes, food and toiletries) and working through a full range of services (including counselling, skills training, medical referrals, family mediation and reconciliation, job preparation, creative workshops and micro entrepreneurial opportunities).
Dignity, Love and Respect are the pillars of Souper Troopers and this overarching ethos is a balm to the emotionally traumatic lives of homeless people, and the first step towards healing. So this International Coffee Day and beyond, drink your best brew, knowing it’s as good for the soul as it is for the buzz.