With study sessions, meetings, old friends catching up and the many other connections that happen “over a cup of coffee”, it’s no surprise that coffee creates a community. At Georgia Southern University, a campus that is no stranger to the power of community, coffee shops are considered a second home to many.
Community is exactly what Philip and Anna Klayman, owners of Three Tree Coffee Roasters had in mind when they decided to expand their roasting business by opening a coffee shop on South Main Street.
“The part of the mission that this will directly influence is engaging the community,” said Klayman.
They are looking forward to interacting with people from the community on a more day-to-day basis.
The coffee shop could provide available space for events, particularly for non-profit organizations. Philip and Anna also plan to continue hosting events of their own that support their mission, such as Free Coffee 4 Free People, an event they held at their roasted facilities last fall that focused on ending human trafficking.
All of the Klayman’s efforts and goals with Three Tree are related to their three-fold mission to engage the community, empower farmers and end human trafficking. In order to make their mission possible, they work with many organizations that are geared towards their goals.
“Farmers of coffee can be paid so little that many of them are considered slave labor, so empowering the farmer and ending human trafficking are kind of intertwined,” said Klayman.
The Klayman’s help in all the ways they can to make sure the farmers are paid and treated well. Organizations they work with related to this are Fair Trade USA, Thrive Coffee Farmers and Café Femenino Foundation.
Ending human trafficking became important to them after a trip that they took to Indonesia during which they met a victim.
“When you meet a person and hear a story, it’s so much different than hearing a statistic, so for us it became a lot more personal when we met someone who had been through this. It started with the sex trafficking route, but then we really started to learn about all the forms of trafficking and how even a lot of farming can be considered labor trafficking,” said Klayman.
Their business works with International Justice Mission and Rahab’s Rope with the purpose of ending human trafficking. Rahab’s Rope is an organization that employs women in India who were previously victims of sex trafficking. Three tree works with them by selling many of the products that the women make.
The coffee served at Three Tree’s coffee shop will come from several farms in different countries. Currently, the options are the Costa Rican, the Rwandan, the Honduras coffee, and the Peruvian coffee.
“Its hard to say where we will be in two more years, but as long as it fulfills and grows the mission, we’re satisfied,” said Klayman.
The community can finally taste the various coffees and learn about ways to contribute to Three Tree’s mission at the coffee shop’s opening on Saturday, August 22, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will also be live music, giveaways and 30 percent off all drinks and food.