One Village Coffee is a specialty coffee roaster in Souderton, PA that utilizes fair trade and certified organic beans, and is a founding B-Corp member. It was a real treat for me to get an individualized tour of the facility by owner Steve Hackman, and to learn about the various components of the operation. The tour culminated in being served an exquisite cup of brewed iced coffee to quench my thirst on a very hot day as we talked around the coffee bar.
By the way, monthly tours are offered to the public the third Thursday of each month at 10 AM – and I highly recommend it.
Sample a variety of One Village coffees:
- Sunday, September from 10am – 1pm
- Saturday, September 17 from 10am - noon
All coffees are discounted 20% throughout the month.
The name of the company, One Village, highlights how the coffee company started and what it stands for. Steve, his son and wife, and a group of their friends had visited villages in Africa and Honduras a number of years ago and witnessed the power of a village – a community of people working together to better themselves – and saw the opportunity to create their own village as a way to connect growers, roasters, and coffee customers through quality coffee and a commitment to stewardship. One Village proudly supports social and environmental sustainability through its business.
In 2007, after three months of research, Scott Hackman - Steve’s son, and one of Scott’s best friends from college - bought a used roaster from Turkey. “They put it in my farmhouse basement and started roasting coffee.” Steve recalls what happened next. “The first month they started, a local gentleman from Souderton, Woody, found out they were roasting coffee. He had been roasting his own coffee for six years on his kitchen table in a popcorn roaster. He came over and started roasting coffee to help out.”
That early roasting of the coffee “just for the fun of it” landed Woody a job in the company three months later, and he’s still employed, doing what he loves. The company has been housed in its current location since 2008. Steve became actively involved with the business when he started to market the coffee beginning at Rice’s Market. Scott has since moved onto another endeavor becoming a partner and lead advisor with Delaware Valley Family Business Center while Scott’s wife remains at One Village as the general manager.
What makes One Village unique? “We started sourcing high end, specialty coffee from day one and we still do that to this day. We also follow the harvest of coffee; we get it when it’s just been harvested - within 140 days on average. Not only are you getting quality coffee, you’re getting fresh coffee and then we roast to order.”
Steve’s journey to becoming the owner of One Village Coffee is a fascinating one. “I was a pediatric respiratory therapist, first in the hospital, then homecare for 15 years. I ended up as part owner of a respiratory home health care business for three years. From there I went into philanthropy development work in Nigeria, Honduras, and Egypt. I worked for a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Egypt for four years.”
I listened in awe as Steve describes the founder of the non-profit charity he worked for as their development director, Stephen’s Children, known as Mama Maggie. Maggie Gobran is an Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christian who left a prestigious career to help children that live in garbage slums. “She started over 500 schools. Each school has 300 kids. She is educating over 200,000 children that would never have gotten an education. She also has camps in the summertime where she brings them out of the garbage and keeps them at the schools and does recreational activities. She’s the Mother Teresa of the Middle East.”
What does Steve value? “Most important to me is people, helping people to become better people in whatever way that might look for the situation. For my own employees, I’m always creating ways to make it a better place to work. We also look at whatever we can do with the farmers we’re connected with.” Steve cited a Nigerian project he’s currently involved in, helping to bring a roaster to a community where they can become self sufficient and make money in the coffee industry in their own country. “We’re now starting to get to that point of having the resources and can do a lot more. I did workshops with the farmers over there six years ago, showing them how to harvest coffee with their conditions.”
One Village Coffee participates in an annual campaign to give $1 from the sale of every bag of Artist Blend coffee sold during the month of October to build bee colonies in the COMSA coffee co-op in Honduras. “We give the money to Fair Trade who buys the bees there and shows the farmer how to build the hives and care for the bees. This will be our sixth year. Our Artist Blend is our biggest seller – we usually sell about eight thousand bags.”
Steve serves on the board of the MAMA Project in Honduras which provides a variety of social services including nutritional training for families and deworming two million children through the school system each year. One Village is also generous here at home. The business has been able to donate coffee for over 150,000 meals a year in Philadelphia through a homeless organization, Chosen 300, where Steve is a board member.
Big on quality and generous with service, One Village will be at the Market sampling coffees two different days this month: Sunday, September from 10am – 1pm; and Saturday, September 17 from 10am - noon. All coffees are discounted 20% throughout the month.