BOULDER CREEK, Calif., US – Coffee Shift, a startup working to correct the massive imbalance of equity within the coffee trade, announced its availability to investors via equity crowdfunding site Wefunder starting Friday, March 12. Operating as a direct-to-consumer online coffee subscription service, Coffee Shift has ingeniously integrated blockchain technology to bypass the coffee value chain middlemen, paying growers directly and fairly, and delivering the finest internationally certified premium Colombian Arabica coffee available to its customers.
Already running a successful direct-to-consumer online coffee subscription service, Coffee Shift will use its Wefunder capital to expand operations and bring more coffee-growing farmers into the direct-selling model.
Coffee Shift is the brainchild of Tyler Pinckard, a seasoned Silicon Valley technologist and coffee connoisseur with experience in fintech and blockchain. After visiting coffee-growing operations in Colombia, tasting the best coffee he’d ever had, and being taken aback to learn that coffee-growing farmers often run their businesses at a loss, Pinckard set out to tip the scales by taking power out of the hands of fancy brands and powerful middlemen and moving it to the skilled workers who produce the beans.
“We want to disrupt the current ecosystem where a majority of profits in the coffee trade are vacuumed up by middlemen and large corporations, leaving the grower to suffer. Coffee Shift partners with the growers and shares ownership in our company so that the growers can grow with us,” said Pinckard. “I love nothing more than using technology to confront such an on-the-ground, real-world issue. With blockchain, coffee growers can be paid fairly and instantly across borders — and our platform allows for direct tips to the individual grower who personally made your brew.”
Coffee Shift further ensures fairness by making the coffee growers themselves company stakeholders. Pinckard and his team form direct, cooperative relationships with coffee artisans and farmers on the ground in Colombia by making them part of its management team and giving them equity. Coffee Shift designed its business model from the outset to create a transparent relationship between the happy drinker and the empowered grower.
The timing of Coffee Shift’s investment opportunity via Wefunder is fortuitous: In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of employees now work from home either full or part time, and have moved from coffee they previously enjoyed in the office or bought at coffee shops to purchasing online. Priced closely to other online coffee subscription services, Coffee Shift adds a social impact component to its coffee from Colombia’s Coffee Zone.
“For as little as $100, you can take part in creating autonomy and a level playing field for these incredibly hard-working coffee growers. This equity will mean families can pay for medical care, schooling, and other essentials predictably,” said Pinckard. “By approaching this problem with technology, we can further increase both the money received by the growers and the impact our business has on these families and communities.”