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Café UBUNTU + Win a Trip to Kenya

By Elizabeth Leader Smith, September 18, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Elizabeth Leader Smith

For some people, coffee can jumpstart their day. For others, it can jumpstart their community. In Kenya, the word “ubuntu” means, “I am because we are.” Appropriately named Café UBUNTU ­– the first bakery in Maai Mahiu, Kenya – is a true collaboration that will create jobs and empower the community. Learn more about the collaboration that created the café and what is means for the community of Maai Mahiu by watching this video.

CAFE UBUNTU: A Global Collaboration from CTC International on Vimeo.

Raising Funds. Raising Roofs

Opening later this month, Café UBUNTU is a project of Comfort The Children International (CTC International), a non-profit that works alongside Kenyan communities to create sustainable change.

Whole Foods Market® stores sell CTC International L.I.F.E. Line products like reusable canvas coffee sleeves, which are handmade made by women in Maai Mahiu. Proceeds support CTC International. Additionally, they funded Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program trips, which sent Team Members to help the community build the café. These volunteers started building Café UBUNTU last year and it was painted and landscaped by more Team Members this summer. Whole Planet Foundation® facilitated the Team Member volunteer program trips.

In addition, Allegro Coffee is donating $0.50 cents of every cup of brewed coffee sold on National Coffee Day, Sunday, September 29, to CTC International and consistently champions L.I.F.E. Line products in our coffee departments.

Rise and Shine

The café will not only be self-sustaining and create jobs, it will also offer modern bathroom accommodations and become a beacon for the roughly 1 million tourists who drive through Maai Mahiu each year. The café will be the only source of espresso outside of Nairobi en route to the Maasai Mara thanks in part to Allegro, who is providing the espresso machine and training. The menu will offer crepes, espresso and farm-to-table options catered to the tastes of the local community.

Café UBUNTU will also be a much-needed health and nutrition resource center for the Rift Valley and will host income-generating supper clubs and provide education to the community about sustainable farming.

Learn more about the collaboration that created the café and what is means for the community of Maai Mahiu by watching this video.

Cup of Joy: A Giveaway!

To commemorate the opening of the café, Allegro is releasing specially-marked packages of Café UBUNTU blend beginning September 27. Various African co-op growers in the Rift Valley grow the beans, and that’s not the only special thing inside the bag. With each purchase of a 12-oz bag, you have a chance to win a trip to Kenya and other prizes. Buy a bag and you could find:

  • A golden ticket. One shopper will win a trip for two to OI Pejeta Rhino Conservancy in Kenya compliments of Game Watchers in partnership Whole Journeys, our new travel company.
  • Silver tickets. Two people will receive a pound of coffee per week for a year.
  • Blue tickets. 10 shoppers will win a gift bag full of our favorite L.I.F.E. products.

Visit the customer service desk of your local Whole Foods Market store for complete contest details.

If you won the golden ticket, who would you bring to Kenya with you?




David says ...
Oh what a great idea! I hope that it will work out good, so other companies can take an example of it. If I had a teleporting machine, I would be over there in no time, to enjoy the atmosphere (turquoise and brown interior) and the local cuisine. And of course coffee!!! All the best for Ubuntu!
09/18/2013 2:59:55 PM CDT
Calleen says ...
I search out coffee and coffee shops as my hobby. People I hang around love to discuss good coffee. I will share this experience with them if chosen. Probably have a coffee tasting fund raiser at my home to celebrate.
09/18/2013 6:36:41 PM CDT
Roxanne says ...
Yet another reason I love shopping at Whole Food markets. Thanks!
09/18/2013 6:41:16 PM CDT
Carole Lewis says ...
I love your store and the products that you carry. I send gift cards to my granddaughter that is at Loyola University in NOLA.
09/18/2013 8:35:40 PM CDT
Krystal says ...
I can dream !
09/19/2013 12:57:09 AM CDT
Nzingha Masani-Manuel says ...
This is so wonderful I to wish UBUNTU much financial support/success $$$$$$$$$
09/19/2013 11:02:02 AM CDT
Marika says ...
If I went to Kenya, I'd bring my husband John with me. He hasn't been back to Kenya since living in Nairobi for a few years when he was a small child. I'd love to revisit it with him.
09/27/2013 3:44:34 PM CDT
victoria new says ...
What a wonderful program
09/30/2013 9:12:08 PM CDT
Carolyn Parker says ...
I would bring my son. Because he is the most giving and considerate person I know he appreciate the environment and the culture of that country...you company is helping not just people but Humanity. And that is a good thing Thanks for caring
10/03/2013 7:30:50 PM CDT
Floyd Reed says ...
The reality of our "Ubuntu existence" is a concept worthy of sharing with our children and discussing within our circles of influence, both at home and around the world. When we can openly and honestly share our thoughts, hopes and concerns with our friends and neighbors, and when the things which we find that we have in common with our friends and neighbors become greater than our differences, then we will live in a better community than we could ever imagine otherwise. FR
11/11/2014 9:45:10 PM CST