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Salt Spring Coffee donates 1500lbs of coffee to Healthcare Workers

A delicious coffee donation was the way Salt Spring Coffee thanked the amazing health workers who are supporting their amazing community during this time

Amid the difficulties of the COVID -19 pandemic, Salt Spring Coffee still found a way to show its appreciation to health professionals in this challenging time. They offered a sale with a 30% discount and free coffee delivery, and with every 5 lbs bag sold, 1lb would be donated to hospitals. The community support was so overwhelming that the coffee bags were sold out in just a few days.

We had the opportunity to ask Peter Chu, marketing manager at Salt Spring Coffee, a few questions about how they handled the crisis and to tell us more about this incredible contribution.

How has your business had to change since the pandemic started?

"Since the pandemic, Salt Spring Coffee has had to make swift changes to keep our staff safe while maintaining supply to our customers.

We have lost significant business because we supply coffee to cafes, hotels, and institutions, and our partners in those sectors have had to shut down. We feel for them and we are ready to provide them with support when they re-open.

Fortunately, our coffee is also sold in grocery stores and online. With people spending more time at home, we held online specials on coffee as well as brewing equipment. People may be missing their baristas right now, so we hope to fill that gap in the meantime with a nice home coffee brewing experience."

(...) our community has been incredibly supportive. To look on the bright side, the pandemic has made many of us realize the importance of supporting our local community.

Peter Chu, Marketing Manager of Salt Spring Coffee

What has the responses to these changes in your business been from your clients and the community?

"Even though this is a challenging time for everyone, our community has been incredibly supportive. To look on the bright side, the pandemic has made many of us realize the importance of supporting our local community.

We have banded together with our partners and other local businesses to discuss ways we could pivot and help each other.

In a time when the business has slowed down, we took the opportunity to assess our social purpose with United Way's Social Purpose Institute."

Tell us about a moment you realized you were making a meaningful difference with your donations?

"To show our appreciation to front line healthcare workers, we donated 1,000lbs of coffee to hospitals and healthcare facilities in BC. We engaged our customers by offering them a discount on bulk coffee and a commitment to add 1lb of coffee for every bulk bag sold.

Within hours of the announcement, our bulk coffee inventory sold out. We replenished our inventory two more times, and each time we were sold out within hours of notifying our customers.

By far, this has been the biggest response we have received from our customers.

Including the contributions from our customers, we donated a total of 1,500lbs of coffee.

This was the moment we realized we had struck a chord with our customers. We were moved and beyond grateful to have customers that also value kindness and generosity."

We don't all have to be medical and healthcare professionals to do our part.

Peter Chu, Marketing Manager of Salt Spring Coffee

What recommendations do you have for other Vancouver businesses who want to help but aren't sure how to start?

"We don't all have to be medical and healthcare professionals to do our part.

Your business may not solve most of the biggest problems, but that should not be a deterrent to make a difference, however big or small. It is inspiring to see the way many local businesses have been creative in slightly altering their business models to both stay afloat and better serve their customers in this new normal.

An enlightening exercise we did as a part of defining our social purpose was to identify our company’s strengths and societal issues. In other words: what we can do VS. what the world needs. Where the two overlaps are opportunities to contribute."

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