Alex and Holly have two adopted children, Jax, 7, and Niko, 3. Both boys have Down’s syndrome.
“It is very difficult for people with disabilities to find meaningful employment,” said Alex.
The 47 Coffee Co. brand was therefore created with their sons in mind.
“People with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes instead of 46,” Alex said.
The motivation for the caffeine-inspired entrepreneurial dream came from years of sleepless nights. Their eldest son Jax suffers from severe sleep apnea.
“For about the first four years of his life, we were up every 20 to 40 minutes with him,” Alex said. “On average, 14 times a night.
As a result, Holly and Alex’s love for coffee grew from a need to a passion. They started roasting and selling beans in their own roast downstairs, even adding unique flavors like maple and coconut to their coffee.
They recently discovered that their product, whole beans instead of coffee grounds, didn’t work for everyone.
“I try to make really good coffee for busy people and I realize that by adding that extra step of grinding them, I was a little too snobbish with coffee myself and I didn’t care. didn’t really suit our market, ”Alex said.
But commercial shredders are expensive, especially for a new business.
Thanks to a recent grant from the Entrepreneur Development Center at Medicine Hat College, Alex and Holly are able to take another step forward in growing their coffee business.
“She initially asked for a $ 5,000 investment in her pitch, but given the size of the business and what we thought it really needed, we decided to give them a little more,” said Benita Sauer, partner at MNP.
Brand 47 Coffee Co. received $ 6,200 and a significant amount of mentorship going forward. Alex says the first thing they’ll buy is a shredder and they’ll spend the rest on marketing materials for the growing business.
In the future, they want to hire employees, especially people with disabilities, and possibly have a storefront.
But one thing will remain the same – they have pledged to donate a portion of the sales to the Canadian Down Syndrome Society.