What Does One Cup Stand For? What Do We Value?

What Does One Cup Stand For? What Do We Value?

Hmmm. How to articulate what we stand for in few enough words that you’ll read the whole thing? That’s tough. We may have to take this one in a few stages. The One Cup Project started in 2010 as an outgrowth of the desire to do something that matters. Having been entrepreneurs in the coffee industry for nearly two decades already by that time, this question continued to come up between my wife Erika and I: What is the purpose of our business and the prosperity it has brought us? We questioned the wisdom of continuing to build a business enterprise that exists largely to fund the owner’s lifestyle. So we started down the path of what eventually led to the founding of One Cup, and with it, a sea change in the way we approach business.

It has been such a journey, and we have learned so much and grown so much along the way. When I traveled to Kenya to help local leaders improve living conditions and opportunities within their community, one of the leaders had an “aha moment”. He said: “I realize we’ve just continued doing things this way, because that’s the way we’ve always done it”. From that point on, they began opening their minds to taking a more effective approach to their challenges. We have turned over many rocks personally since then, and examined the way we do things in business. We have endeavored to weave our values into our brand promise. Here are just a few words that describe what we believe in.

  • Simplicity – We live in an increasingly complex world filled with techno gadgets and devices that can do far more than anybody ever has time to figure out how to use. It can be overwhelming. Whenever possible, we like to err on the side of keeping it simple.
  • Authenticity – We believe in being real, loving what’s real, continually discovering who you are and living that you. We believe in eliminating pretense and super fluff and just being ourselves.
  • Creativity – We believe in expressing our selves through design, art and handiwork. We have all been created one-of-a-kind, and we all have a unique perspective based on who we were born, together with our life’s experience. Creativity is not the sole domain of professional artist, musicians, filmmakers and the like. We all create without even realizing it. We create environments for living and work. We create gardens and outdoor spaces. Even things as simple as meals. If we’re going to take the time to make it, why not make it special? Why make it ho-hum and boring if you we can infuse it with creative flair and zest? Life is short. We believe in putting our all into it so we can get the most out of it. Sometimes that means shirking what’s fastest or makes the most economic sense, and doing what makes your heart sing, and that which is good for the soul.

As alluded to in the beginning, it would be hard to condense what we believe into single words or phrases, and do it any justice. So we’ll stop here for now, and add to it in a future post. In the mean time, a hearty ‘thank you’ for supporting One Cup as we carry out our mission to change lives for good, one cup at a time!