When Poul Mark opened Transcend, his high-end coffee shop in Edmonton, he thought it would be a good way to build community in the city. He also wanted to open a new business challenge for himself after years of practice as a lawyer.
However, not long after opening the first Transcend Coffee location, which ushered in a new era of coffee to the city, in 2006, the entrepreneur made an uncomfortable discovery.
In a recent interview with Free Play for Kids Inc. Mark said “I didn’t know how brutal of an industry coffee is for producers,” Mark says. “It’s horrible. The money only flows one way. I have a pretty significant social justice bent—I did Aboriginal law for the short time I practiced—and I found out too late. I’d already invested everything I owned in this business. I wasn’t sure how I was going to reconcile that, in all honesty.”
In response, Mark decided Transcend would be 100% fair trade because he didn't want to be a part of the problem.
We love that Transcend is looking at the bigger picture of coffee production, and getting involved in helping the industry grow. They're also very friendly to talk with if you have any questions about their process or coffee in general.
Picture by freeplayforkids