Canteen’s Coffee Revolution

May 03, 2016

On Chicago’s north side, wholesale coffee company Metropolis strives to be a positive influence in people’s lives, through coffee. And they’re doing it thanks to a unique partnership with a nonprofit and Canteen.

“We get people involved. We get more work done. We just get things done,” says Benn Rankin-Parker.

Benn has a genetic condition called Fragile X Syndrome. Often compared to autism, Fragile X Syndrome causes intellectual disabilities. At 31, Benn has had no formal job training…until now.

At the Metropolis coffee company, Benn helps package a special brand of coffee called Aspire Coffee Works. Aspire is an innovative nonprofit helping people with disabilities live a full life. Thanks to the partnership between Aspire and Metropolis, Benn has a job in the coffee business! Metropolis associates roast the coffee. Aspire associates prepare the coffee for market.

The partnership has grown, but Aspire wanted to put more people like Benn to work. In order to do so, they had to sell more coffee.

And so Canteen, the world’s largest vending company, became the missing link, forming a rare partnership between the Artisan Roaster Metropolis, the nonprofit Aspire, and Big Business.