Sacred Bean Coffee is a social enterprise initiative pioneered and run by people overcoming life-controlling issues. We work with socially excluded people overcoming struggles such as homelessness, offending behaviours and substance abuse, teaching them how to source, roast, brew and retail artisan coffee that is both ethical and great tasting.
Coffee isn’t just about coffee anymore when considering the experience of drinking a cup. Coffee culture has evolved into moments of meaning around human and sensory connections. The smells. The sounds. The feelings. It’s about the aesthetics of your favourite café, the eclectic playlists, the book you read over that silky flat white, the meaningful conversation you have with a trusted friend over a latte. The mixed emotions of relief and exhilaration when that essay is finally complete and submitted – 3 triple-shot Americanos later. Coffee is really about connecting to that bigger story, the story of life.
However, to the purist, coffee is ultimately just that – coffee. And it has to be good, really good, coffee. To the purist, if you need to put milk in your brew then your coffee isn’t good enough. The story the purists are more connected to is that of the actual beans and the journey they’ve been on – where the beans come from, how they’ve been treated and how they find their way into a cup. Sacred Bean Coffee plays its part in connecting these stories as an active part of a beans journey.
Sacred Bean Coffee was established and developed to provide training and employment opportunities for people coming out of the Criminal Justice System or breaking free from substance abuse issues. We’re about producing quality, sustainable and speciality coffee beans along with excellent customer service. Together, our enterprise works passionately with rehabilitation and recovery. We teach and train the art of roasting, brewing and selling ethically sourced artisan coffee.
Pioneered in 2018 by coffee enthusiast Darren Howie, Sacred Bean Coffee grew from his work as a mentor for people overcoming offending behaviours. He took two of his passions, coffee and rehabilitation, marrying them together as part of a wider experience. Darren wanted to create a social enterprise that would provide opportunities for people breaking out of the Criminal Justice System as well as those in recovery and from the foster community.
Darren developed his love of coffee whilst working as a barista some years back. It was his first job after being stuck in the Criminal justice System for over 25 years, and after completing long-term drug rehabilitation. The roasting began in Darren’s home kitchen and was then mastered in the chancel of St. Peter’s Church, Derby.
Sacred Bean are fanatical about coffee and the belief that people can and do change. Just as the raw coffee beans (or seeds, since that’s what they are) need the right environment and treatment to unlock their potential, so it is with the people we support. At Sacred Bean Coffee we strongly believe that people deserve a “second crack” (a key stage in coffee flavour development) at life. We have faith that all people, despite their backgrounds, have the potential to flourish and contribute positively to society. They can be champions of their communities, transforming where they live.
Ultimately, we are passionate about providing opportunities for people to learn new skills or transfer old skills to enhance future employment goals. Like the potential locked up inside every bean, we believe every individual has the potential locked inside of them. Provided with the right support network and breaks in life, people can and do alter their stories.
“Create the right culture and it will flourish” – Darren Howie