Some people need coffee in their lives every morning just to shake off the cobwebs. But for a group of men at Jericho’s Discipleship House, coffee does so much more; it helps transform their lives.
Samaritan Coffee Roasters is operated by men who live in Discipleship House, Jericho’s residential program for men transforming their lives after homelessness and addiction. So, in addition to engaging in counseling and other activities to aid in their recovery, they’re also taste-testing coffee blends, adjusting timing and temperature of the roasting machines, and learning about small-scale production and marketing in a work-therapy program.
“They are very passionate about what they’re doing, and take it very seriously,” said Mark Grasso, Jericho’s Director of Operations and supervisor of Discipleship House. “The main benefit, though, is that they’re learning some valuable skills that will position them well when they return to the job market. This will help them get a long-term position, or even open up their own coffee-roasting business.”
For Scott Eggen, who’s been a resident of Discipleship House for nearly a year, roasting coffee has given him another skill to put on his resume, which already includes heating & air conditioning and electrician.
“If my heat, air and electrical business ever fails, I can do coffee roasting,” he said with a laugh. “Being part of this process, though, it gives you accountability. And it’s something else to learn, so I am bettering myself. It builds skills not just in making coffee but in being a productive member of society. And I just love doing it.”
Samaritan Coffee Roasters has another purpose too, and that is to help fund Discipleship House, which houses up to 15 men at a time in a long-term, faith-based recovery program. Because the business is still new, it has generated only limited revenue, but the plan is to continue marketing the product to local retailers and eateries.
The buzz it’s creating is sure to help their cause; Samaritan Coffee Roaster was recently featured in Connecticut Magazine.
Today, Samaritan Coffee Roasters’ House Roast (a medium roast) and its pumpkin spice seasonal blend are on sale at three Danbury locations - Beautiful News bookstore, Hustle Hard Nutrition, and Rumors European Café - as well as at its office at 22 Maple Avenue, Danbury. You can also order online through its Facebook page: facebook.com/samaritanroasters/