“Our goal was to create a product that could service a need,” says Kicco co-founder Vincent Sarlos. “And that service would be a healthy coffee that tasted really good and can teach entrepreneurship all over the world.”
CBD coffee and global entrepreneurship may sound like two completely unrelated issues, but for the founders, it was an easy decision to pair the two. Through the nonprofit organization Kiva, Kicco is donating one dollar for every pound of coffee sold toward micro-loans for those looking to pay off tuition or start small businesses around the world.
For both co-founders, this is a cause that hits close to home. Sarlos and Andrea Pignata have strong ties to Italy, where Pignata is from; Sarlos’s family immigrated to the U.S. from there. “The American dream was and is very real in our lives,” says Sarlos. “We know that’s not the case everywhere in the world, and we want to help as much as we can.”
One way Kicco Koffie hopes to spread the American dream is by offering Guatemalan keychains as part of a partnership with NGO Creamos; proceeds from the keychains go directly to supporting women living in the area of Guatemala City's garbage dump, said to be the largest in the country. Kicco sources some of its beans from Guatemala, and this is one way the company could give back, Sarlos explains: “A large portion of coffee production in Guatemala is led by men. But we wanted to help women in the country as well. The women over there make the keychains, and we try to give them away with every order.”
Pairing with Kiva allows Kicco to help women outside of Guatemala, too. “Women are underserved in business education in other countries,” notes Sarlos. “The ultimate goal is to create incubators in other countries. Basically, creating a place for these local entrepreneurs and small businesses to have the same opportunities that we do in the States.”
Kicco's coffee beans come from Colombia as well as Guatemala (the founders are also looking at Rwanda, where legendary coffee grows), and the CBD is grown organically in Colorado. After trying other CBD coffees and being disappointed, Kicco's founders wanted to create something that would taste good and also offer the full benefits of CBD. “CBD coffee is an overall healthy beverage that doesn’t give you jitters and keeps you awake,” Sarlo says. “We really wanted to provide a beverage that gives the biggest health impact."
And also make an impact on the rest of the world. “We partner with these organizations that provide business opportunities and education in other countries to invest in individuals worldwide,” he concludes. “The entrepreneurial spirit is embedded within our coffee.”
Kicco Koffie can be purchased on the company's website or at Maci Cafe in Denver.