Cafe donates profits to help end human trafficking

Ardent Coffee is donation-based and offers suggested prices for its coffee. So far they have raised and donated approximately $30,000.

PORTLAND, Ore. — There’s no shortage of coffee in Portland, but at one southeast Portland store, the customer determines the cost of a cup — and the mission goes beyond the coffee.

Isaac Collmer and Joe Smith wanted to create a place where people could contribute and make a difference in the world, so they opened Ardent Coffee to answer a question the two co-founders had.

“What good can we do in the world through a cup of coffee?” said Isaac Collmer, co-founder of the cafe. “We realized that we needed to leverage the resources of the community in order to have a positive effect on the world.”

The store opened in July 2020 with a donation-based business model, they have suggested prices and customers donate what they can. The shop then donates 100% of profits to help end human trafficking through the nonprofit International Mission for Justice.

“There are over 40 million enslaved people in the world today, from sex trafficking to slavery,” Vollmer said. “International Justice Mission aims to help lift people out of slavery and restore them through highly personalized aftercare programs.”

So far they have raised and donated approximately $30,000 to their mission.

“Coffee is something people do every day, and we wanted to give people a chance to integrate giving into the world through their daily rhythms,” Collmer explained.

The donation-based coffee shop that brews for a cause is also run entirely by volunteers.

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“I think it’s encouraging for people to know that something like this exists and could be a viable and sustainable business model,” said volunteer Ilya Fridman.

Fridman has been a volunteer with Ardent for about two months.

“For me, it was important that I could do something with my time so that they could also somehow, you know, grow me as a member of my social community,” said Fridmann.

A community united around a simple concept and a perfect blend: good coffee for a greater cause. “I think it speaks to how effective we can be as a community in pulling our resources towards something bigger than ourselves,” Collmer said.

Ardent Coffee also uses donations to pay rent and coffee beans at the store.

They are also always looking for volunteers. Applications are available at ArdentCoffee.org

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