Sip A Cup, Save A Pup With This Organic Fair-Trade Coffee
By The Get Leashed Goods Team
Make your morning meaningful. It’s something that has stuck with us as more than just a marketing tagline. We have the privilege of hearing so many amazing rescue stories through our Doggy Style features, but you don’t always stop to think how these rescue organizations gain the resources they need to carry out all the important work they do. A recent startup based in the Maritimes has so smartly paired two things we love together: coffee and canines, to raise funds for animal rescues all over Canada. Imagine, each morning coffee you brew helping pets in need, one small sip at a time.
Rescue Coffee is a socially conscious company that offers Organic Fair Trade premium coffee and donates 10% of profits to their partnering animal rescue organizations. Their coffee is roasted in Nova Scotia in small batches to ensure the highest quality and freshness.
We caught up with Claire Vaughan, the founder of Rescue Coffee Co. to find out what it’s all about and how they got started.
What was your a-ha moment to become an entrepreneur? How did RCC come about?
After getting my business degree I found myself working in a very corporate job that left me feeling quite unfulfilled. I struggled each day internally, feeling as though I wasn’t doing enough to make a difference. Even as a child I always worried about animals without homes, the thought broke my heart and still does. The feeling that I had to do something to help was only getting stronger, so I decided to combine two things I’m very passionate about: quality coffee and animals! Coffee just fits in so well with the dog-lovers’ lifestyle. I know when I wake up in the morning the first 2 things that start my day are coffee and my pets. That’s how the thought to merge the two came to mind.
At Rescue Coffee, we believe in three things: that every animal deserves a loving home, the importance of starting each day off with the perfect cup of coffee, and that when we work together to support our local communities, amazing things can happen. Being able to provide my customers with delicious, fresh roasted coffee that also helps give an animal a second chance has been an absolute dream come true.
We love the fun names of your blends. Can you walk us through each one?
Absolutely! Our coffees are all Organic Fair Trade and roasted in small batches to ensure the perfect cup every time. In our coffee line, you will find roasts from light to very dark, ensuring we appeal to a wide range of tastes.
Wake & Wag is our light roast and a beautiful morning coffee. It’s a Single Origin Mexican and the tasting notes include brown sugar and milk chocolate with a light body and delicate flavor.
Black Dog Espresso is our medium roast. It’s perfect for Espresso based drinks but also makes for a smooth brewed coffee. Black Dog Espresso is a blend of Ethiopian, Guatemalan, Mexican and Peruvian coffees. The tasting notes found in this coffee are dark chocolate, walnut and caramel with a pleasing finish.
Go Fetch! is our medium-dark roast and our most popular! This is a Single Origin Peruvian, encompassing tasting notes of spice and dark fruit with a medium body and delightful mouthfeel.
Bark & Bite is for the bold coffee drinker! It’s our very dark roast and is a blend of Mexican and Peruvian coffees. Bark & Bite is dark and deep with a robust mouthfeel and includes tasting notes of roasted nuts and cigar smoke.
Tell us a bit about your pets! How did they come into your life?
Both my cat and dog are rescues and come with their own unique stories. I found my cat, Nahla, while I was on my way to work in Halifax. I was driving along and noticed a small blonde kitten frolicking around a small patch of grass between two very busy streets. I immediately pulled over, got out of the car and called the kitten over. She was very tiny, thin and dirty, but had this adorable toughness to her. She was clearly a street cat in need of veterinary attention. I scooped her up, put her in my car and took her home to be fed and bathed. It turns out she was very sick with a lung infection, worms, and was 1/3 underweight. I named her Nahla because she looked like a tiny lioness and was definitely a fighter. She is the most amazing cat, she even fetches better than my dog!
Which brings me to Theo. We adopted my dog from the SPCA in Moncton. He was only 7 months old at the time and is a mix of Border Collie, Terrier and probably a few other breeds. The staff at the SPCA said someone just dropped him off but didn’t know much about his history or why they didn’t want him anymore. After taking him for just one walk it was pretty clear that we weren’t going to be able to leave without him. Of course, he did require some patience and training (as all dogs do) but he is the most affectionate and gentle dog. Rescues really do make the most amazing pets. I feel as though on some level they know you’re their second chance at a happy life.
Congrats on launching in Toronto! How can readers across Canada and the US try your coffee and support the cause?
Thank you! In Toronto our coffee is currently available at Unleashed in the City, Dundas West Animal Hospital and Kew Beach Veterinary Hospital (with more locations to come!) However, if we’re not in your area yet we can ship Rescue Coffee right to your door through our online shop!
How have your rescue partners benefited from RCC? Can you tell us a bit about the work they do?
Not only does Rescue Coffee benefit our rescue partners financially (we donate 10% of profits to them) but it also brings awareness to all of the deserving animals in their care that desperately need to find their forever homes. It’s incredibly costly for these organizations to operate. I would say the majority, if not all of their money comes from fundraising efforts. These organizations don’t get government handouts which means they depend heavily on donations and volunteers.
Here in Toronto, our rescue partner is Save our Scruff, an all-breed dog rescue that relies on their network of foster families to provide loving temporary care for the dogs until they are carefully matched with the right forever home. We’re really excited to be partnering with them!
2016 has been a big year for you guys – what’s in the works for you in 2017?
Year 1 has been a tremendous year for us, from having an idea on paper to actually seeing it come to life and have an impact has been a dream come true. 2017 is going to be a year of growth for us. We plan to increase our number of rescue partners, increase our number of retail partners and reach more people who want to start their day off with Rescue Coffee each morning. If you’ve been with us from the start, we thank you, and if you’re just hearing about us now, we can’t wait for you to be a part of our mission by enjoying our knock your socks off coffee!
What would you say to someone who’s considering adopting a rescue animal?
I would tell them from experience that adopting a rescue animal has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Rescue animals make such great pets, just be prepared to get an infinite amount of love and affection!
As always, welcoming an animal into your home should be considered very carefully. If you can’t put years and years into the care of a pet, consider adopting a senior! If you live in an apartment, adopt a smaller dog or cat that requires less energy. Once you find the rescue animal that suits your lifestyle, your loyal companion will thank you with unconditional love and lots of laughter!