A new coffee roastery in a historically troubled Vancouver neighborhood has an important mission beyond just crafting good coffee.
One part roastery, one part chocolatier and one part social enterprise, East Van Roasters is a nonprofit initiative of PHS Community Services. The East Van Roasters project employs women in PHS’s Rainier Hotel, a five-year-old program providing addiction and mental health treatment to women on the city’s East side. Funding for the hotel program, which is also designed to connect residents to employment, was cut in January of this year.
The East Van retail cafe just opened at 319 Carrall Street, and the nonprofit is now seeking wholesale accounts for both chocolate and coffee. It is roasting organic- and Fair Trade-certified coffees, and its cocoa beans come from direct trade relationships.