Belift is a San Francisco-based start-up looking to use coffee to assist at-risk youth in their city. Selling solely Indonesian specialty coffee, Belift has partnered with Larkin Street Youth Services to provide training and part-time employment to San Francisco youths experiencing homelessness. And to help get the message out about the work being done by this fairly new company, Royal Coffee is hosting Belift at The Crown, their lab and tasting room, on November 16th for a day of education and coffee tasting.
The Belift mission is twofold and it starts at origin. Indonesia is the fourth largest coffee producer in the world, but according to Belift’s website, the country has seen the value of their exported crop drop around 20% over the last five years. Being of Indonesian descent, cofounder Ivan Hartanto saw Belift as an opportunity to “empower undervalued specialty coffee farmers” in his home country. To this end, he and cofounder Karrie Liang teamed up with Goodwill Coffee in Surabaya, Indonesia to help source and roast the coffee they sell. Along with Goodwill, Belift helps work with farmers to increase the quality of their output and allows those farmers to name the price their coffees will fetch.
The second part of the mission is at home in San Francisco, where Belift uses coffee as a vehicle to give at-risk youth employment skills and provide them with a means to earn money. The multi-faceted program includes a “Mental Model Workshop,” where “young adult students learn how to communicate better to advocate for themselves through various mental models, interactive games with prizes and sharing sessions” as well as a barista training program teaching individuals the basics of coffee. Participants are paid $20 an hour for the training program and graduates are then able to go on earn the same rate working part-time at Belift running free tasting events, preparing catering orders, and fulfilling shipments.
Hartanto tells Sprudge:
We aspire to provide income and brighter futures for homeless youth in San Francisco and underserved Indonesian specialty coffee farmers. We are inviting coffee drinkers to co-create this social impact with us by joining our human-centered coffee tasting experience and buying our coffee products and, ultimately, to become highly impactful through their everyday coffee consumption.
To help expand the audience Belift’s message reaches, Royal Coffee is hosting an event between 2:00pm and 4:00pm on Saturday, November 16th at The Crown titled “Belift Coffee: Social Impact with Indonesian Coffee.” At the free event, attendees will be invited to taste Indonesian specialty coffees and learn about Belift’s “homeless youth social impact initiative.” Also in attendance will be Simon D.I. Soekarno, the Consulate General of Indonesia, who will “promote Indonesia’s rich specialty coffee culture [and] give an update on the current state of Indonesian coffee.” Those looking to attend can RSVP via Eventbrite.
Disclosure: Royal Coffee is an advertising partner with the Sprudge Media Network