LAND OF A THOUSAND HILLS COFFEE - CREATING LASTING CHANGE BY DOING GOOD

Although Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee can be found in nine retail locations, their unique and inspirational business model is one-of-a-kind.  The mission of Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee is to “craft beautiful coffee, creature purposeful work, and cultivate flourishing communities.” Their mission so resonated with the Crescent Communities team that we needed to learn more.  While we are partnering with Land of a Thousand Hills on retail locations for two of our Atlanta-area multifamily communities, we were interested in learning the story behind the coffee. 

Land of a Thousand Hills coffee started small.  In 2008, founder Jonathan D. Golden roasted a few Rwandan beans in his kitchen.  He immediately uncovered a love for the rich flavor and quality of the coffee produced by these beans. He felt so passionate about his discovery of these Rwandan beans that he ultimately left his full-time job to pursue a career in coffee.  Jonathan first sold the coffee directly to churches and other retailers.  As the popularity of Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee grew, he identified the need to establish a physical space to serve his coffee.  The first Land of a Thousand Hills retail location opened in Roswell, Georgia.  It is still one of the most popular retail locations.

Fast forward ten years, and Land of a Thousand Hills coffee is offered in 5 states, with plans to add 4 new locations in 2019.  Land of a Thousand Hills coffee will have retail locations in two of our Atlanta-area communities, NOVEL Perimeter and NOVEL O4W (Old Fourth Ward) by Crescent Communities.  The team still relies on beans grown throughout Rwanda to provide coffee with the rich flavor and texture for which LOTH is recognized.  Upon founding of Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee, Golden recognized the economic and social challenges that the people of Rwanda were facing.  While we in the States were enjoying luxurious lattes, the people who were responsible for the cultivation of the crops grown to produce our coffee were living vastly different lives, with little access to what we would consider the most basic of services. 

From the early days of LTH coffee, Golden and his team have been working to stimulate economic and social growth in Rwanda.  Unique in the world of retail sales and certainly unlike most other coffee companies, the LTH team works directly with the Rwandan farmers, allowing their team to directly understand the needs of the community.  The coffee production by LTH has provided over 10,000 coffee farmers purposeful jobs and more than a fair-trade wage.  In 2009, Golden and his team formed the Do Good Initiative, a mission-based nonprofit, in response to their growing concern for the needs of local Rwandan communities. They work directly with the community to identify challenges and propose solutions.  The LTH team has created meaningful impact through more than 10 initiatives that have changed the lives of thousands of Rwandan people.  Their current project is perhaps the most ambitious and meaningful yet.  

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Currently, the Do Good initiative is building health clinics to serve the vibrant Ruli Mountian and Kivu Lake communities that produce the rich beans of Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee.  As a result of this project, over 10,000 farmers and other community members will gain easy access to healthcare that they have never before experienced. Prior to the construction of these health clinics, the people of these secluded areas would have walked between 6 hours and two days to reach a clinic.  Implementing Health Clinics in the heart of these villages is an opportunity to directly impact the lives of those who make Land of a Thousand Hills possible.

This was not an easy task.  The first phase consisted of endless research.  Health assessments within the community and in district and national hospitals helped to identify the exact needs of each community.  The LTH and Do Good team met with local leaders, hospitals, and government officials to develop a collaborative and sustainable approach to the challenge. 

The team is now actively constructing the first clinic.  The groundbreaking for this remarkable facility took place on March 7.  The facility is expected to be complete in July 2019. But the work does not end when the final brick is placed.  The team secured a partnership with the Rwandan Ministry of Health and the district hospitals for each location our clinic will be built, ensuring that the clinics remain staffed, stocked, and continually educated. The team intends to continue to build awareness and funding for the clinics, by hosting targeted events to build awareness locally and abroad.

The team at Crescent Communities is inspired by the work that Jonathan and his team are doing to create economic and social impact.  Their mission perfectly aligns with that of Crescent Communities, which states, “Build Community.  Better People’s Lives.” The LTH team is doing just that, and we commend them for their tremendous action.

We are proud to partner with the Do Good team by raising funds during our groundbreaking events, and by continuing to share their message of cultivating flourishing communities.  Additionally, for each pound of coffee purchased at a LTH NOVEL location, we will donate a dollar to their continued efforts.  Please take a moment to learn more about their inspirational initiatives and support their efforts in any way you see fit. 

Their work in Rwanda is far from over.  We look forward to following their progress on the healthcare facilities and on the next initiative!  The next time you sip your favorite brew, consider the hands that harvested the beans.  I’m sure you will appreciate each sip more fully.