Three Olivet alumni are trying to combine caffeine and community by selling monthly coffee variety boxes across the country.
My Coffeeism is a monthly service that sends its customers a box containing a 10 to 20 ounce bag of whole bean coffee and specialty items such as a calendar, postcards and confetti.
Katherine Henson, founder and president of My Coffeeism, along with her co-owners Hollie and Jesse Erikson, are Olivet graduates who started the company as a way to create a story that brought people together over coffee.
“Plus who doesn’t love a new coffee to try each month from cities and shops we may never actually get to visit?” said Henson.
Hollie thinks that My Coffeeism adds a personal touch that most standard subscription boxes lack.
“It gears it toward the interest of the consumers, but also switches it up to allow the consumer to try different kinds they normally wouldn’t,” Hollie said.
My Coffeeism also has a strong emphasis on creating community.
“It truly is about the community and story we are cultivating,” Henson said. “We are bringing people together all across the country over coffee. It’s amazing.”
My Coffeeism’s success doesn’t just come from selling the product. They also have a growing social media presence where they engage current and potential customers.
Jessica Ryan, a freelance photographer from Tulsa, OK, found My Coffeeism through Instagram. She’s a current subscriber and said she loves what Henson created, calling them “adorable boxes of caffeinated joy.”
“Who doesn’t love getting something great in the mail once a month?” Ryan said. “Why not let that be coffee?”
By using the hashtag #mycoffeeism, people can share their “coffee adventures” with other My Coffeeism customers. Henson will often repost one on My Coffeeism’s feed if she feels it represents the brand well.
“I use [the hashtag] in my local coffee shop pictures,” Ryan said. “I love telling pretty much everyone I know about the boxes.”
“Social media is really what brings people together from all walks of life and from all across the world,” Henson said. “It’s amazing we get to continually be a part of that, and with coffee at the center.”
The customer base and engagement is a large focus, but My Coffeeism also tries to include brews by companies with philanthropic business models. “I know that Katherine has been super diligent with using companies that are fostering relationships or well-being back into their community or the common good,” Hollie said.
Last month My Coffeeism partnered with Big Shoulders Coffee in Chicago, an organization that gives back to the Chicago School District.
“This is so much more than just good coffee. This is about the good story that goes into coffee,” Henson said. “We want to bring all that together [within] our coffee-loving community.”
Learn more about My Coffeeism by visiting www.mycoffeeism.com.
–Case Koerner, contributing writer