Recently, an independent coffee brand called Sober Joe began grinding beans for a very good cause. Launched and distributed by a former alcoholic, it has gone on to serve two important purposes. One is to deliver a quality product that can help people get through long days. The other is to promote the message of recovery, with profits going directly to treatment centers and sobriety programs.
We were very excited to see a company like this begin to generate headlines. Its founder, Frank Kerker, has become an outspoken advocate for people struggling with addiction and has now made it his mission to help the cause. Kerker is a 25-year vet of the beverage business, doing sales and advertising for several national brands. But when it came time to launch something of his own, he knew exactly what his mission should be.
“This was the perfect intersection for me: beverages and recovery,” Kerker explained in an interview with The Fix.com. “I don’t know why there is that connection, but there is. Coffee is mentioned a half a dozen times in The Big Book and 12 & 12. It’s the beverage of choice for 12-step meetings everywhere. It’s ubiquitous, part of the culture. Making coffee is even suggested as a way to perform service work.”
Kerker openly admitted that his own sobriety occurred back in 2005, after years of struggling with a drinking dependency. He also correctly pointed out that coffee has had a long history with recovery, working as a successful tool during 12-step meetings.
Working with collaborators from his bev biz days, Kerker was able to put together a winning brew formula. He then began structuring a charitable strategy that would make each Sober Joe purchase especially meaningful. Since its launch last September, the brand has been funding a scholarship to Courage to Change Sober Living; a local halfway house adjacent to company headquarters. So far, the donations have totaled several thousand dollars with much more expected before the end of the year.
Sober Joe is is also partnering with Compassion4Addiction, which works to change perceptions and stigmas when it comes to dependencies. As the company grows nationally, Kerker plans to shift even more profits toward the organization. And he told TheFix that he doesn’t plan to stop there.
“Virtually everyone is touched directly by addiction and people want to help but don’t know how,” he added. “Buying a product that you use everyday is an easy way to help. Plus, it’s really good coffee.”
You can do your part to support Sober Joe by visiting their official website.