After seeing the water crisis on full display, co-founders Chris Soper & Rob Touchstone, decided they needed to do something about it. They landed on a plan to use the profits from a local coffeehouse to affect change in areas of the world most in need of clean water. Now over a decade later, thanks to our customers and staff, we’ve been able to donate well over $250k to clean water impacting nearly 30,000 people in over 50 communities.
It’s a common enough misconception, but actually no. Our name originally is derived from the biblical story of “The Woman at The Well”. The idea was that the cafe would be the present-day equivalent of the communal well meeting space, and that we could be a conduit for providing life giving water for others.
No. While we have had a lot of Christian influence in our beginnings, we are not connected to a church organization.
We are! We look and feel like your typical coffee business, but from our beginning in 2012 we have committed ourselves to the responsibility, standards and requirements set for non-profits. We exist first and foremost to service our mission of Turning Coffee Into Water, and the best strategy we found in 2012 was to operate as a non-profit organization. We’re a big fan of B-Corps or other models, but we’re proud to claim Non-Profit.
You can use the Contact form at the footer of our website.
Fill out this career form, and we’ll be in contact if opportunities arise or slots have opened.
The quick answer is that we’re not okay with between 700M-2.4B people on earth not having access to safe, sustainable water. But for a great read on the why, we recommend reading this article - https://wellcoffeehouse.com/blogs/blog/turning-coffee-into-water.
In the aftermath of the pandemic lockdowns, we knew we needed a more focused, mission-oriented strategy to love our staff well in the time of crisis. We started offering benefits uncommon in the coffee or service industry such as PTO for all employees, competitive insurance packages, free chaplaincy services, discounted mental health counseling and living wage pay rate certifications through Living Wage for US and Living Wage Nashville. Loving full circle means our employees are just as much a part of our mission as those we serve globally.
It does! While we certainly hope that our customers feel loved and cherished in our local cafes, we have other local initiatives for impact that we love being a part of. All stores have a Wishing Well community board where customers can meet and ask for needs to be met. On top of that in the Nashville area we are connected to local impact partners such as People Loving Nashville, The Laundry Stop and ShowerUp.
This is a tough one. We have typically prioritized connecting coffee origins we’re offering in-store to a global water impact abroad, so our missional focus has been on coffee-growing countries. We are continuing to expand our mission to other areas of the globe as well, in constant communication with the strategies of the water impact parters we use. In short, we look to where our ability to give will make the most impact.
We do not. We are coffee makers, not construction experts. We leave the well drilling to the experts we have surrounded ourselves with. They are tremendous water impact partners, who are 100% focused on connecting sustainable, local community lead transformation change. We act as a grant writer for our partners.
This is a tricky question in the coffee world, especially as we import many coffees per year from all around the globe. In many cases, yes, our coffees have been organic; however, certified organic coffee rules and regulations change drastically depending on the country of origin. More often than not, we’ll receive “organic” coffee without it having been certified. While many of the coffee producers we work with operate organic practices, it is very expensive for producers to afford the auditing & assessment of organic certifications prior to exporting. If you’re curious if our coffees are all certified organic, then the answer would be no.
No. One of the common misconceptions about direct-trade partnerships is that it always benefits the producer. In truth, we thought this at first too. After now years of direct-trade partnerships & also importing through industry-leading, sustainable importers, we’ve found that it is on a case-by-case basis of what best benefits the producers. Sometimes community co-ops are more beneficial to the producing community, and we’ll use importing partners for that. We typically agree to direct-trade partnerships when they do not have access to a beneficial co-op or for other reasons may need special investment outside of a different importing partner.
After our experiences working with the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) through one of their incubator programs, we had a lot of conversations about how best to approach this. We pay above market rate for our coffees, because we know that producers are slowly being squeezed out of the coffee industry into other agricultural products such as fruits or grains. On many occasions now we have had conversations with producers that without that additional investment, they would financially need to leave the coffee industry to make ends meet. We are hoping to inspire other coffee importers and roasters to further invest in the new generation of coffee producers, as we see the negative economic trends affecting them.
Yes! We both use other importers and import coffees ourselves from origin.
It really depends on the use case for the coffee in our cafes, but a general range would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1-3 months.
We do! Check them out here.
Yes! Other than just before we end our food service, which is typically 1 hour before closing.
Unfortunately, they are not allowed inside as we serve both coffee and food, unless it is a service animal due to health inspector regulations. We do offer some water bowls and outside seating across our locations to make sure your furry friend can hang out if space is available!
We do not. We make almost all of our syrups in-house by hand, and they are most of the time simple syrup based. They do contain less sugar than you may find other places, but they will still have sugar. We also offer honey if you’re looking for an alternative!
Yes! We offer private label services for bagged coffee. We can even help create a specific flavor profile if that is something you’re needing.
Yes! We offer several coffee classes, ranging from brew methods, to latte art, and even coffee cupping! If you have a team of your own looking for coffee education, we can even host trainings for your employees.
We offer full service consulting for new businesses. We can help you with everything from shop layout, to bar flow, to training, to sourcing machines and equipment.
Absolutely! Fill out our contact form and our wholesale team will get back to you about how that process works.
You can sign up on our website underneath the “Shop” header.
We do! Just contact us through the website contact form, and we can negotiate time, person count, etc.
Sign in to your customer account at wellcoffeehouse.com, and there will be a section called “My Subcriptions”. You should be able to adjust your frequency from there.