1951 Coffee Company

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1951 Coffee Company to Support Refugees

1951 Coffee Company is a specialty coffee organization seeking to promote the well-being of the refugee community in the San Francisco Bay Area. By providing job training and employment, 1951 Coffee Company supports the safe and successful resettlement of refugees and asylees while also educating the surrounding community about refugee life and issues.

A Little History about First Pres' Partnership with 1951 Coffee Company

As a church, First Pres has long been engaged in God’s redemptive work in the world through mission and the university. More recently, we have been asking how we might use the underutilized spaces on our campus to expand God’s reach into the community around us, particularly the University. As First Pres prayerfully considered how God might be leading us to open that space to the community and the neighboring University, the founders of 1951 Coffee Company were also stepping out in faith. They felt a tug to open a non-profit retail coffee shop that would train recently arrived refugees. The skills gained at 1951 will provide refugees an entry into the coffee industry, which offers higher-paying entry-level jobs than the jobs that are otherwise be available to them. Yet these refugees need so much more than better-paying jobs. They need a loving community to replace the ones they left behind. They need healing from the trauma of fleeing their homes, families, and countries. They need a safe place to start over.

As these two stories came together in an initial meeting between First Pres and 1951 Coffee Company in the Spring of 2015, both organizations sensed the Spirit’s hand and the missing pieces of a puzzle fell into place. We believe that together, we are more fully able to live into God’s call.

For more information and to stay up to date as this process moves forward, please continue to visit this webpage. If you have questions or input as the 1951 Coffee Company Work Group continues the process, please email 1951workgroup@fpcberkeley.org.

1951 Work Group Members,
Bridget Satchwell, Director for Outreach and Justice
Terry Mathew, Facilities Manager
Vivian McIlraith, Elder, Missional Engagement
Mindy Phillips, Elder, Missional Engagement
Erik Douglas, Stewardship and Elder
Clark Sept, JPOW
Virginia Robbins, Deacon and Work Group Chair