Generous Coffee Company, which started as an online-only roaster with a mission in 2017, has expanded into two Colorado brick-and-mortar locations in recent months. The first opened inside Golden's Tributary Hall last August, and a Denver outpost followed in November inside co-working space Wayfinder Co-op, at 525 Santa Fe Drive.
The name Generous Coffee comes from the desire of its founders, business partners Ben Higgins, Drew Scholl and Riley Fuller, to give back to the coffee community. The three serve on the board of Humanity and Hope, a nonprofit that addresses social injustices in small communities in Honduras. They felt the communities wouldn't succeed if Humanity and Hope stopped funding its various projects, so they started Generous Coffee Company International as an additional revenue stream for the organization. "They chose coffee because it's a highly consumed product in U.S., and [coffee production] provides lots of jobs in places like Honduras," says Melissa Lutz, general manager and owner of both Colorado locations.
Higgins, a former contestant on The Bachelor, originally hails from Indiana, where Generous roasts its coffee, but currently resides in Golden. In addition to coffee beans, the company started by selling other products like mugs and T-shirts made by other charity-focused companies. "People wanted to jump on board and be a part of it," says Lutz. "It grew super-quickly; we realized there was a need for a more community-oriented base for people to interact with the brand and buy coffee."
Lutz moved from Chicago to open Generous because she saw lots of coffee-drinking, caring residents in Denver. "There are a lot of people who want to give back," she says of Denver. "People really care about their community and being a part of something greater than themselves."
By donating 5 percent of sales to nonprofit partners, Generous has raised nearly $4,500 so far to fund projects in Haiti and Honduras. Eventually, the company hope to license the Generous name and offer its model to others who want to open nonprofit coffee shops around the country.
Wayfinder Co-op's airy warehouse feel pays homage to its former days as a paper company; it was designed with a natural open-floor concept that allows members and non-members to mix and mingle, which Lutz says lends to the Generous Coffee mission. In addition to the coffee shop, the co-op houses several startups focused on the outdoor industry, as well as Otero Taproom, which is also open to the public.
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Several unique house specialty lattes are aptly named after the countries in which Generous is active, including a mildly sweet honey cinnamon latte called the Honduran and a chocolate, coconut and malted milk latte called the Haitian. For younger customers, Generous offers "lattes" like an ice cream cake latte topped with sprinkles, a chocolate cereal latte topped with Lucky Charms marshmallows, and a kids' version of the Honduran.
In addition to coffee, tea and kombucha, Generous plans to sell oatmeal, pastries from Beet Box, rotating flavors of sweet and savory loaded toasts, and waffles topped with nut butter and pistachios, all changing frequently. The food menu debuts at the grand opening this Saturday, February 1, where there will be live music, games, beer and mimosas from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Higgins will also be there to speak about Generous and its partner nonprofits.
Currently, Generous is up and running from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily — and, most important, you don't have to be a co-working member to access the coffee.