Customer Spotlight – First Watch – Project Sunrise Coffee

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In collaboration with First Watch and many teams within Royal Cup, we elevated the restaurant coffee program. Project Sunrise is a new coffee program with a single-origin coffee sourced from women coffee farmers in the Huila (“Wee-luh”) region of Colombia. This unique coffee is sourced with an above-market, premium price to support a women-led organization called Mujeres en Café (Women in Coffee).

Traditionally, the coffee industry in Colombia has been predominately male. Due to Colombia’s civil conflict, countless women in Huila lost their sons, husbands, and brothers, leaving the women of the household to take over the family business. Together, these women formed Mujeres en Café with a mission to create sustainable businesses and improve the lives of the families that live there.

“During our visit to Huila, we met groups of women in several villages who have dedicated their lives to producing great coffee. They are proud of their work and were eager to welcome us into their homes, walk us through their farms, and share their stories,” Shane Schaibly, corporate chef and VP of Culinary Strategy for First Watch. “Each year, we serve more than 8 million cups of coffee in our restaurants. Through Project Sunrise, that gives us 8 million incredible opportunities to support these hard-working women and their families in Huila in 2018.”

These women are proud to share the [literal] fruits of their labor. By paying a premium, First Watch intends to empower these women to capitalize and elevate their skills while also improving the lives of their families.

“To just say it’s a Colombian, is not as good as saying, this is a Huila Colombian,” said Royal Cup Roastmaster, Stacy Hawkins.

The coffee features a medium body, with notes of cherry, toasted nuts, honey, chocolate, and caramel, which pairs well with First Watch’s offerings. It’s a perfect match on all fronts: great flavor, great people, and great origin.