These days, the job market is challenging for even the most qualified candidate. But it was witnessing the plight of former-offenders who struggled to find work and the seemingly never ending cycle of re-incarceration that was particularly troublesome for Pete Leonard, Dave Scavotto and Ron DeVries.
In 2007 Pete, Dave and Ron started Second Chance Coffee Company LLC in Wheaton, a for-profit coffee roasting company dedicated to providing high-quality, specialty grade coffee and to helping transform the lives of former offenders.
[caption id="attachment_828" align="alignleft" width="300"] I Have a Bean Inspired Coffee[/caption]
Second Chance Coffee Company roasts and sells small batches of its I Have a Bean coffee from its facility at 657 Childs Street in Wheaton, Ill. Since its beginning, Second Chance Coffee has hired former prisoners to roast and market their premium-branded coffees. The company’s mission is to positively impact the spiritual, social, and economic condition of its employees, their families, and the communities in which it does business.
The partners in Second Chance Coffee recognize that while employment is one of the biggest hurdles for former offenders, their employees need additional help and a stable support system outside their roasting company.
That’s why Second Chance Coffee Company works closely with post-prison support organizations that share their faith and provide counseling, mentoring, life skills training and a supportive community to their employees and other former offenders.
According to a study by The Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center, “Within three years nearly 7 out of 10 released males will find themselves back in prison.” Research shows this happens due to multiple factors including personal and situation characteristics, and the individual’s social environment of peers, family and community.
In a recent article in the Daily Herald, Pete Leonard, the partner who is actively involved in the day-to-day business operations noted, “Just because someone has been to prison doesn’t make them any materially different from me when it comes to life goals, family and wanting to live a life of meaning. Any time we can, we give an opportunity for expression in all of those areas.”
In July 2011, the Rotary Club of Central DuPage named Second Chance Coffee and its I Have a Bean coffee brand “2010-2011 Business of the Year”. The company was recognized for its service to the community and its commitment to giving ex-offenders a second chance at leading productive lives.
Co-founder Dave Scavotto accepted the award and commented,
“Since we started the company in 2007, we’ve had three goals: to roast specialty-grade coffee, which is the top one percent of coffee in the world; to hire former offenders, who make up the primary part of our work force; and to support the community and give back where we can.”
Coyle Financial Counsel is proud to serve fresh-roasted I Have a Bean Coffee to clients. I Have a Bean coffee can be purchased online at www.ihaveabean.com and at local area Whole Foods stores. It is also available for sale at the Wheaton French Market, the farmers markets in Glen Ellyn, Winfield, Naperville, Geneva and Hinsdale, and at various events throughout the year.
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Posted on Mon, October 1, 2012