In 2015 I stumbled across a company that would change the direction of my life. I had previously been aware of the struggles that people around the world faced, but I had no idea the extent.... or that I could do something about it. I learned about fair trade and how our purchases could make a difference globally. I began selling fair trade goods through home parties in an effort to make a difference.
I had the opportunity to travel to Haiti and meet our artisan partners in the fall of 2016. Though our trip was missional, we were not going to build an orphanage or plant a church. We were going to see how business through fair trade could impact impoverished countries and change lives. This trip changed everything for me. When you have the opportunity to smell the smells, to hear the sounds, to touch the ground... and to hug the woman you work for... A fire ignites inside of you. I had no idea at the time, that less than a year later I would have the opportunity to open a fair trade store in my own community.
My husband and his brother were interested in starting a local coffee roasting business (all fair or direct trade, of course.) Van Buren Coffee Company was born, and they began searching for a space to build their business. They found a space much larger than what they needed, and it happened to already be set up for a retail location. Though it sits a little outside of our town, it was perfect for roasting, and I could see what God had in store for the extra space.
Theodore Roosevelt once said,
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
That's what we are doing. The Shop is a small space, family owned and operated, and full of hope, purpose, and artisan goods.
I want to create change in this world, and I know that it can be as easy as shopping with purpose. Every dollar we spend is a vote cast for the kind of world we want. Let's invest in people, love one another,
and make this world a better place!