Today we’d like to introduce you to Tara Stucky.
Hi Tara, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am a creator and operating manager of Cause Coffee located west of Kansas City. We opened our doors in March 2018 and it has been a crazy, blessed ride since! Business is great but more than that we are so humbled by the outpouring of support from the coffee communities of De Soto, the entire metro Kansas City area, and Lawrence. Cause Coffee is simply a dream that developed in my heart and mind as a way to combine my extreme love of quality coffee with my love for helping my fellow human beings in need. The world is full of huge needs but there are simple and practical things we can accomplish to change lives.
Cause Coffee exists to make a positive difference in developing nations through education, clean water wells, food and disaster relief crisis, orphan care, anti-human slavery and more. The way we do this is simple. We are a very unique craft coffee shop because we are non-profit. When you walk through our doors, it would appear like a normal for-profit craft shop but in reality everything we make (after expenses) we give back to local and global needs. Also when you “tip” in our donation jar, it all goes to our “cause”.
Since we opened, we have given generously toward desperate needs. Here are just some examples of what we have been privileged to be a part of: a school in an impoverished area of Nicaragua; a home for abused children; we give monthly to area homeless; helped purchase school supplies for children in a remote area of Mexico; given to help several villages in Uganda and India have clean water wells; and we gave to an orphanage in Haiti….providing Christmas presents for all the orphans as well as supplies for their medial unit for premature babies. An exciting thing we have been a part of is taking three trips to Nicaragua and Haiti with a group of Cause Coffee baristas, customers and volunteers. We also have done a project for the Kansas City Blind School as well as two projects for Grace Blankets, a local KC non-profit that donates blankets to the NICU of local hospitals. We have new and exciting projects every month! Check out our sign by the register!
Cause Coffee is a non-profit under De Soto Youth Ministries, a local 501c3 dedicated to helping teens and young adults reach their full potential! When the shop started, every worker was volunteer! Now there are still dozens of volunteers that rotate their time, including Cause Coffee’s creator, Tara Stucky. But now, the shop has a handful of young adults who are employees and who are dedicated to carry out the mission of the shop. Every barista is highly trained, some being paid, some being volunteer, but all working for a greater purpose… to make a difference in people’s lives!
Cause Coffee also exists to help educate the community on true ethical sourcing and not using slave labor products. Our coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar, vanilla and more are slavery-free. We are excited to make a difference in people’s awareness of this serious issue and we also strive to give each customer a true craft coffee experience. Everything we use at Cause is ethically sourced. Even our coffee syrups are organic and fair trade… and oh, so good! We offer a wide variety of organic food and pastry choices with many gluten-free, sometimes vegan, dairy-free, and paleo options, as well. There are no GMO’s at Cause!
We also are extremely passionate about our earth!!!! We use non-toxic soaps, cleaning products, compostable, and reusable items. We love protecting our environment by using pressed palm leaf plates and paper straws upon request. We also use as much reusable material like stainless straws and glass as possible. All leftover food and pastries are given to the homeless of KC and we compost our coffee grounds. We use palm leaf plates from fallen palm leaves as well as bamboo napkins. It is our joy to do this for our beautiful planet!
We also have a selection of fair trade gift items for sale from artisans around the world… giving these fellow human beings a voice with their talents for a fair wage. Another way Cause Coffee brings awareness to the human slavery crisis!
And, an added bonus is that we created a gathering spot for many. I work hard so that people can feel something magical when they walk through the doors… and maybe, just maybe, in the process our customers’ world can be expanded and their compassion for the hurting increased.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
My biggest challenge is balancing running a business (I still have to buy thousands of dollars in supplies monthly and pay my six employees) and balancing that with following my heart. When I feel led we give free meals/ coffee to those needing encouragement as well as helping those with needs right on our community. So it is a challenge to give generously while maintains a budget of still being able to have my doors open. But, it is what I am supposed to do and It always works out. I am thankful for the donations we get in as well as how the joy of giving has deeply impacted myself and my family. I volunteer my time over 40 hours a week. It is exhausting but we have never been so happy. I say “we” because my family is right by my side. It is incredible to serve Kansas City with them. That is why my personal photo is a family photo… I am in the center.
We’ve been impressed with Cause Coffee, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I founded a unique nonprofit coffee shop that also serves organic breakfast and lunch as well. Our coffee drinks are original recipes with organic ingredients and the drinks are highly crafted with beautiful presentation. Being the head barista, I spend many hours in the bar and that gives me time to connect with my customers. Our menu offerings are prepared with love and it is our pleasure to serve each and every human being that walks thru our door. Loving people is my mission. It is why I get up so early and work so hard. So the excellence of what we prepare paired with our customer service is our most important focus.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @causecoffeekc
- Facebook: Cause Coffee
- Yelp: Cause Coffee