By now you know we have some pretty incredible things in store for 2018, but strap in because this caffeinated journey of ours is forging a new path. As you may know, Peace Coffee has been owned by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) since the beginning. It’s been a great ride, but recent discussions have led to IATP and Peace Coffee agreeing that it would be mutually beneficial to both parties if they were to sell the company to a new ownership group.
The priority for everyone throughout this decision-making process was to find a like-minded buyer that could continue our mission and culture without fail. Who better to do that than one of our own? That’s right, our own Queen Bean and leader for the last 11 years, Lee Wallace, loves this company, its mission, and its culture so much that she decided to buy the whole operation in partnership with her friend and new business partner, Kent Pilakowski.
A New Era for Peace Coffee
You’re probably sitting there thinking, who is this Kent Pilakowski character? I haven’t heard of him before… Well, he’s a successful Minneapolis based entrepreneur and management executive with over 20 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods industry. He’s passionate about our mission and sees this as an opportunity to make a difference in the world, and set the foundation for his children to grow up around a socially-minded business that they can be proud to be a part of for years to come.
As the new owners, Lee and Kent will work diligently to build upon the success Peace Coffee has experienced to date as an innovative social enterprise. While this change means that Peace Coffee will no longer be owned by a non-profit, it doesn’t mean we’re changing our focus from being a mission-based social enterprise that aims to have a lasting positive impact on the world.
Staying True to Our Roots
The foundation of Peace Coffee is our great coffee, along with our unique and innovative culture, and our mission to support the livelihoods of everyone in the chain from farm to cup while protecting and enhancing the environment in which the coffee is produced.
It will continue to be our number one priority to have an active involvement in our supply chain, and look for ways to deepen our impact on coffee-growing communities. Along with improving the lives of coffee growing families through our industry-leading ethical purchasing practices, we will continue to demonstrate our leadership in the industry through transparency, sharing information on best practices, and collaborating on projects with other like-minded organizations.
Overall, this change will help ensure we continue to lead the way and inspire others to follow in our footsteps. Peace Coffee has set the tone for innovation in organic, fair trade coffee for 20 years now and we fully expect this to continue to for the next 20 and beyond!
Focused and Ready to Lead
Under our new ownership, we will work even harder to stay ahead of the pack and maintain a focus on sustainable operations, while looking for ways to continuously build upon what we’ve been doing for years. One way we are doing this is through our recent B Corp certification. That’s right, we are now a certified B Corporation!
This certification not only demonstrates our leadership in sustainability but provides the framework for improvements, enabling us to further enhance our farmer and environment-first mission.
Over time, our enduring commitment to building upon our mission will further our ability to buy and sell in other regions, expand our retail presence, and initiate other major changes that will help grow our impact. We’re excited to have you help us usher in this new era of Peace Coffee. Our continued growth and success will mean better livelihoods for more farmers, partners, and staff. Thanks for your support over the last 20 years and we look forward to an even better 20 years ahead!