Upward Nobility Coffee Is a Conduit For Community Health
Upward Nobility is coffee that cares about its impact. Created through a partnership between the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce and Noble Coffee and Tea, the community-conscious brand affects people on three continents.
The creation of the brand coincided with both the Noblesville Chamber’s rebranding and its launch of a new health initiative in the Noblesville community.
“The Chamber, through Upward Nobility, seeks to positively impact both Noblesville and communities abroad,” Noblesville Chamber President/CEO Bob DuBois says.
According to Noble Coffee and Tea owner Mark Littler, DuBois approached Littler, seeking “unique coffee blends with unique stories.” Though the search for such beans was challenging due to the seasonality of coffee harvest, Littler found two small coffee farms—one in Ethiopia and one in El Salvador—that met DuBois’s request.
The Ethiopian Dimtu is a bold roast whose beans are picked and sorted exclusively by women. Paid triple the going rate for their labor, these women are empowered both socially and economically, according to Littler.
“When the women are larger financial contributors to their family, they have a greater voice in family decisions and dynamics,” Littler says.
This farm may not be making widespread changes in the Ethiopian coffee economy, but its meaningful work and fair wages empower the women who work there.
The Salvadoran medium roast Monte Verde is sourced from a fifth-generation single-family farm that employs thirty workers. Due to the extremely low C market—the global coffee price—most Salvadoran coffee workers can only afford corn, so they eat it for every meal.
As a result, many Salvadorans who work at or live near this farm are malnourished and suffer from resulting health issues. Members of the family who own the farm include a doctor and a nutritionist who are crop-funding a local clinic that will serve approximately 150 farmers and workers. The clinic will both address its patients’ current medical issues and educate them on the relationship between food, nutrition, and health to prevent future medical issues. Several years in the making, the clinic now has a building and is set to open within the next year.
Both in El Salvador and Noblesville, this coffee is impacting the health of the local community.
“Expanding beyond our partnerships with Riverview Health, St. Vincent, and Community Health Network, the Chamber is drawing together the business community, Partnership for a Healthy Hamilton County (PHCC), Noblesville Parks, and other organizations to create the Healthy Noblesville Alliance (HNA),” DuBois says. “The HNA will work to adopt a Culture of Health in Noblesville. A healthy community ensures a healthy workforce.”
Bags of Upward Nobility coffee beans can be purchased both at Noble Coffee and Tea and the Noblesville Chamber office for $15 each. Proceeds benefit the Chamber’s health initiative in the Noblesville community and the coffee farms’ respective initiatives.
According to Littler, supporting these types of programs is “really what you get when you buy specialty coffee. [The coffee is] cared about through the process; the extra treatment and the story is what makes it special,” he says. “It’s the importers and farmers who are doing something different. We’re just trying to support them by buying their coffee.”