Most of our customers run a commercial business like a coffee roastery, coffee bar or shop and we like to hear about their roast stories, business dreams and passion for coffee. Some of our customers are however extra special. For this blog post we interviewed Arie van Tienhoven from Koffie met Zorg in Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel, the Netherlands.
Koffie met Zorg
One year ago Arie van Tienhoven and Lenn van Beek founded their company Koffie met Zorg, which literally means ‘coffee with care’.
Their aim is not to just roast great coffee, but to offer meaningful work to those who cannot find a job easily because of a disability or limitation.
Arie is experienced in working with people who have a distance to the labour market, because of his second company Ortho Innovatief. This company makes orthopaedic tools together with disabled people. Co-founder Lenn van Beek is passionate about coffee and roasts coffee himself in his spare time.
In Koffie met Zorg they combined this knowledge, experience and passion into a meaningful business.
Social Enterprise and Koffie4Work
Koffie met Zorg is a Social Enterprise. By hiring people with a disability or limitation they want to take their social responsibility and not leave it to the government to deal with the issue of participation.
From a financial perspective, Koffie met Zorg is a normal company with a healthy need to make profit. Indeed, the more profit they make, the more jobs they can create and the more people will be able to work. At the moment they have 3 persons working for them and when the revenue grows they will be able to hire new people.
“This is exactly why it is so important that companies buy and use our coffee in their offices and restaurants” explains Arie van Tienhoven, co-founder of Koffie met Zorg. “By drinking coffee from Koffie met Zorg you immediately help people with a limitation or disability to be able to work. This is why they launched their campaign Koffie4Work, or in English ‘Coffee for work’ to stimulate awareness and engagement.
People working at Koffie met Zorg
At the moment there are working 3 persons at Koffie met Zorg and 12 at Ortho Innovatief.
They perform all kinds of tasks at Koffie met Zorg, from the sorting of green beans to labeling, weighing, filling, cleaning, coffee grinding to the shipment of orders. Sometimes it is even possible for them to roast the coffee beans themselves. “It is not just about the work, but about work they can be proud of. We reward them with certificates when they master a task.”
According to Arie every business process of Koffie met Zorg is reversed 180 degrees. The clearest example of this reversion is the fact that they don’t hire a person that fits the job, but they create the job that fits the person. With this approach they are able to work well and participate in our society.
From disabled to dedicated expert
What all employees have in common is the need for special care and attention to be able to perform their tasks well. “One of our employees is illiterate for example and we wrote visual instructions to clarify the work process” explains Arie. “Another person has autism and cannot perform different tasks or work with different products on one desk. He gets confused. In reality this means that we have several desks for him so it is clear for him where each coffee bag needs to be filled.”
At Koffie met Zorg they try to guide the people as well as they can by creating a working environment that suits them best. It can take up to 2-3 years for them to really understand their tasks and job, but when they do they become the best experts and remain extremely dedicated to their job.
Why Giesen Coffee Roasters
So why did Arie and Lenn of Koffie met Zorg decided to choose a Giesen Coffee Roaster?
“The quality of our coffee roast is very important to us, we need a constant and stable end product. We heard about the outstanding quality of the coffee roasters from Giesen so this is why we got in our car and drove to Ulft. Here we met Wilfred Giesen, a very social guy. He was really involved and interested in our business and we immediately felt a connection.”
“Giesen helped us with a lot of things, really thinking along with us and creating solutions where problems arose. This is what we are looking for in our suppliers and partners. It is our dream to found social roasteries in all the 12 Dutch provinces and we hope to be able to do this with Giesen Coffee Roasters.”
We are very happy that Koffie met Zorg decided to choose our W6A Coffee Roaster to found their social enterprise. If you want to know more about Koffie met Zorg, you can visit their website. If you have any questions for us, feel free to contact us.