Feminist coffee company fights for gender equity

Though millions of Americans begin their day with a cup of coffee, few stop to think about how the beverage got to their hands in the first place. One female-driven coffee brand is working hard to change this norm by spotlighting the women who largely bring the must-have drink from plant to cup.

City Girl Coffee is perhaps the nation’s only coffee company to use beans exclusively from farms and co-ops owned or run by women, and founder Alyza Bohbot couldn’t be prouder. The second-generation coffee roaster from Minnesota told the New York Times in a Dec. 20 interview that she was inspired to create the trailblazing brand after attending an International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) event in 2015.

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Hearing the story of a Colombian widow who was forbidden from keeping keep her family coffee farm because of her gender, Bohbot felt obliged to make a crusade against such unjust industry norms. Across the globe, women are responsible for getting a whopping 70 percent of coffee to market, the International Trade Center reports, and many have little control over their livelihood.

Though the process of purchasing coffee beans exclusively from female growers “adds a whole other layer of stress on our company,” Bohbot wouldn’t have it any other way. City Girl Coffee further empowers women in the java business by donating 5 percent of all profits to that support the women in their nation of origin.  

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Self-described as “not just a cute company with a chic look,” City Girl has succeeded far beyond Bohbot’s expectations. The Times reports that while sales are up 300 percent year over year, the larger mission is what truly matters.

“Women are vocalizing more than ever before. To speak out and not settle. To demand our place in society,” Bohbot said of the larger global fight for gender equality.

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Now that’s some good news brewing, indeed.