Ben Higgins, best known as the star of season 20 of the long-running TV dating show “The Bachelor,” has launched a coffee company. And while his engagement with flight attendant Lauren Bushnell may have ended after a year, Higgins hopes his Generous Coffee Co. will result in an enduring union between between consumers and the coffeelands.
“It is the most amazing thing to witness when lives are changed through the funding of Generous,” Higgins recently told Daily Coffee News, “whether it is people having the opportunity for education, access to health care, clean water, jobs, newly built and safe infrastructure, or equality in the household.”
The Denver-based roasted coffee business was established by Higgins and business partners Riley Fuller and Darwin Suazo last November. It’s the first venture of what the company describes as the Generous Movement, a self-described “for-purpose” business that plans to use profits to fund operational expenses of nonprofits or social enterprises that are doing sustainable, life-changing work around the world.
Generous is sourcing single-origin, specialty-grade coffees with a focus on traceability, according to Higgins. Currently, the company is offering coffees from Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, and Rwanda direct to consumers online.
“We build these relationships through local exporters, who have built previous relationships with the producers,” Higgins said. “We partner with exporters who provide technical training to these farms to improve the quality of their coffee, which increases the price the producers can charge for their green beans.”
The coffee is roasted in Higgins’ home state, at Fort Wayne, Indiana-based Utopian Roasters. Said Higgins, “Generous has a say in the cupping process, but Utopian and their master roaster help Generous provide what we believe is the best coffee in the world.”
The company’s three founders oversee the mission and vision of the organization, while director of communications Maddie Short manages the brand and daily operations. Additional help comes in the form of a volunteer-led movement, with more than 50 active volunteers who Higgins says share a desire to connect with others by supporting people who lack the same opportunities that they have been given.
“There are so many challenges, however the rewards are enormous,” Higgins said of opening and running a startup company. “Our biggest difficulty has been finding ways to involve these volunteers — people who are interested, passionate, and inspired in spreading the mission and vision of Generous.”
A casual coffee drinker since college, Higgins said he and his partners delved into coffee for the Generous venture because it showed the potential to provide meaningful change in people’s lives with a product that can be responsibly sourced throughout the chain.
“Coffee is an incredible product, one that Generous is lucky to be invested in. I believe coffee has the ability to change the world,” Higgins said. “We have learned that there is opportunity in the coffee industry to provide a product that is of the highest quality, but that also has a true and authentic story behind it.”
Lily Kubota is the digital content manager of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. She is based in Southern California.