From bean to brew
How and why I started Beantrust.
I owe a lot to the traditional service industry, in particular the small, family-owned coffee service and distribution company I used to work for. While there I worked on some amazing projects, including being the first company to distribute Peet’s beans, as well as the first company to bring cold-brew coffee to Boston. But, as happens with many companies that experience great growth and success, things changed. I found myself stuck in a market that was profit-driven and saturated, meaning less attention was being paid to the people involved in favor of costs and margins. Ultimately, that lack of interpersonal connection meant people weren’t listening to each other, and I knew it was time to leave.
But even after I left, I found that most of the coffee market I loved was similarly focused on the numbers, making clever and shrewd business decisions that had very little to do with what people wanted or needed. There was almost no sense of true connection, and I slowly realized that this wasn’t just a problem with one company, or one industry, or even the business world as a whole. Our entire society had lost touch with each other.
Starting in 2015, I made it my mission to reconnect as many people as I could, pushing for projects and business ventures that focused on real, honest interactions. And I found that this almost always translated into real monetary value for the people and businesses involved. Society may have lost its way, but we knew we were lost and desperately longed for a return to the hospitality and connection of old. Along this journey I received help from individuals and groups who share my concern and wish to change how we do business, particularly the Venture Cafe, Greentown Labs, and Cambridge Innovation Center.
These places epitomize the synthesis of old-world hospitality with new technology, infrastructure, and business. They make the same shrewd and clever decisions that most companies make, but are always concentrating on how those decisions can help actual people, often those within a nearby community. They care about profit, but also about wellness, sustainability, and empathy. The number of companies and organizations who think this way is still small, but it’s growing, and I’m heartened by the welcome I’ve received from those who are already doing such great work.
Along my journey, I’ve had the pleasure to meet countless individuals who are doing great work, including building ecosystems in Latin America and helping Syrian refugees in Turkey find jobs. The projects my friends and acquaintances have undertaken are innumerable and impressive.They recognize that trust and humanity are paramount in every community, and that without consideration for the disadvantaged, the struggling, and the neglected, no business endeavor can be truly great.
I think about that every day, and it’s made my life and the lives of others so much richer.