#DSWORKS

The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) recently launched a new initiative along the lines of what we’ve been discussing here. Sunday and Monday Erin & I attended the 2016 Buddy Walk Conference. #DSWORKS was talked about a lot during the workshops and plenaries.

The group organized to march on Washington with the message that those with Down syndrome add much to the workplace and deserve the opportunity to work in the marketplace. The picture below was one of those sessions where we discussed the need fCfsyGnuWwAE9f_ior advocacy for those with Down syndrome entering the workforce.

I believe Furnace Hills Coffee is a unique business that provides an environment for those with developmental disabilities to shine and make a difference in the lives of many as they roast special coffee. Many of the men and women we met this past weekend with Down syndrome were making that kind of difference in their workplaces.

We were there representing our Buddy Walk Coffee blend. We serve those doing Buddy Walks and raising funds for their local Down syndIMG_3390rome associations. We had a great reception. Here’s Erin serving at our display. She was awesome. Lots of people enjoyed their conversations with her. Erin is a great advocate for our coffee products. She was also drinking as much as she was handing out — well not really — but did drink her fair share.

Find our Buddy Walk Products Below. A portion of every sale goes to support those with Down syndrome:

Buddy Walk Coffees: http://www.furnacehillscoffee.com/charities-online/

Remember our Special Coffee is Roasted by Special People.

 

 

A Matter of Leadership — Hiring those with Developmental Disabilities

In my last blog I bragged about our three employees who have developmental disabilities. I compared them with those who are “normal” (Who really is normal?) and stated that ours stack up with the best.

So that got me thinking. Could this premise be true, Not having at least one person on your payroll with developmental disabilities makes you not as good as you could be if you did. Does that make sense? In other words if a company does not hire those with developmental disabilities they are choosing not to be as good as they could possibly be. To back up my premise I was scouring the internet for resources that might make my point. I found this one quoted below. It’s just the first three paragraphs, but it makes my point. I’ve included the link so you can read the article in its entirety.

Some of the world’s largest companies have launched initiatives to hire individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). For many businesses, it may have begun as a philanthropic project or public relations effort to repair their images in the community.

But these employers, large and small, are amazed to find that hiring these individuals amounts to far more than a feel-good gesture. It amounts to a smart business decision with enormous dividends.

Companies are rewarded with loyal employees with resilient work ethics and positive attitudes that are instilled into the entire team. The work environment becomes more inclusive and customers who frequent these businesses even report higher levels of satisfaction.

Pledging “I’m In To Hire” Individuals With Intellectual And Developmental Disabilities

This blog post is just touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to why employers should hire adults with developmental disabilities. Over the next several weeks I’ll be unpacking a report that supports this hunch I have about adding those with developmental disabilities to your work force is a benefit for your company.

So what about where you live. We live in Carroll County, Maryland. In talking to professionals at Good Will and the ARC they say there are 100’s of individuals with developmental disabilities that are unemployed in our county alone. Armed with excellent empirical data we can make the case for every business in our county to hire someone with a developmental disability. It’s a wise business decision.

In the mean time don’t forget about Furnace Hills Coffee. We have three talented dedicated adults who add so much to our coffee roasting business. Let’s spread the word that we want to improve the lot of businesses in our county, state and country by making sure they employ one of our children, friends, those who can add value to the commerce of this country.

Click on the picture below of Erin and order some of the best coffee you’ll ever taste in this region of the world. Roasted by Erin, Chris & Jason! We are so proud of them!

Erin & Sonofresco

A Matter of Leadership — Special Coffee or Special People or Both!

It has been a while since posting on this website. I have decided to start sharing on a regular basis our balance between coffee and people. You see Furnace Hills Coffee was started to provide jobs for people with developmental disabilities. Today we employ three people with developmental disabilities:

  • Erin has Down syndrome
  • Jason has Cerebral Palsy
  • Chris is Autistic

Our challenge to ourselves has been to roast the best coffees available showing the world that these disabilities don’t slow down our employees and in fact we can compete with anyone in the marketplace. I believe we are proving that challenge true! I truly believe that these three individuals roast and package some of the best specialty coffee you can drink in the USA. First let’s talk about what makes these three so special then later this week we’ll talk about why the coffee they roast is so special.

Special People:

  • Erin: She has a passion for roasting special coffee. She calls our roastery her shop. When she can’t go into work she cries and tells me, “I have to work, that’s my job.” How many people do you know cry when they can’t go to work? How many people do you know call where they work their company? If we don’t get at least ten orders overnight she us upset and is concerned that there may be nothing for her to do that day. She loves the coffee named after her, Erin’s Breakfast Blend. In fact she calls it, “My Breakfast Blend.” Do you know of anyone who approaches there work like Erin does?
  • Jason: He loves working at Furnace Hills Coffee. He has a passion to see us succeed. He calls on organizations and companies who may be able to use our coffee in his spare time. He wants to be a part of ever special event we do. He comes to work happy and puts his full energy into all he does. Jason has Cerebral Palsy. Yet that has not stopped him from doing everything in the shop. He has learned work arounds when it comes to the tasks he’s been asked to perform. And he does it with joy! When did you know of an employee who worked on his/her own time to make the company a success?
  • Chris: Do your employees or co-workers include a secret ingredient in their work? Chris does. He includes a pinch of love. Wouldn’t it be great if our co-workers said something like this, “I have the presentation done all it needs now is a pinch of love.” That’s Chris for you. He’s another one who cries when he can’t come to work. Did you ever cry when you couldn’t come to work?

I will measure our special people against your people any day and I do believe we will come out on top.

Check out our story here: Furnace Hills Story

Thursday we’ll discuss the rest of the team and what makes them so special. Don’t worry we’ll get around to this special coffee we roast. The best in the world! It is a matter of leadership!

 

Furnace Hills Coffee Shop:

When we reach 400 pounds of roasting/selling each week we’re going to move our coffee roasters to the back and build out a coffee bar in front. We are less than 100/week away from that milestone. Here’s what we think our shop will look like:

Furnace Hills Coffee Shop

Furnace Hills Coffee Shop

So what do you think? Is it a place you would visit? Besides our famous Furnace Hills Coffees, what else should we offer? Should we be a Third Wave shop and forego all the expensive brewing equipment and do pour overs? What should our hours be? Should we be open on Sunday?

Although the coffee shop in the picture is in London I think we’ll be able to copy most of what they have done inside as well.

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Soldiers Blend

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1-3, 1863 in and around the town of Gettysburg, PA. It was the battle with the most casualties in the Civil War. It is often described as the war’s turning point.

In honor of this battle and the soldiers that fought there Furnace Hills Coffee Company has created a Soldiers Blend. Coffee was essential during this war. Coffee and hardtack were the two foods the soldiers could count on that wouldn’t spoil and could be easily transported in a haversack. Salt-pork was the other common food, but often rotted or attracted flies and quickly filled with maggots. During the war, America imported coffee from Africa, primarily Ethiopia. Generals were given the bags of coffee and would often spread out a blanket to evenly dole out piles of the precious staple. In the beginning of the war, coffee was delivered ground, but scrupulous merchants began mixing in sand to increase their profits. Generals quickly began ordering whole beans and usually these arrived green. Once the piles had been measured out, soldiers quickly dispersed to roast their piles. This way if they had long days of marching or were unable to light fires, they still had roasted coffee. They would often have to munch on the beans instead of drinking the coffee. They used cast iron skillets over open fires for roasting. The coffee usually ended up burnt in the middle while the sides were lighter, resulting in a “salt and pepper” blend mixed with bits of chaff.

Once the North had secured the southern ports, the South was cut off from their precious brew. The North had trouble securing a steady source of tobacco so a deal was quickly worked out. Often in the early mornings the front lines would display white flags, send runners across the opposite line and make an exchange; coffee for tobacco. The runners returned, the flags came down and war proceeded. Getttysburg Battle Field

After careful research Furnace Hills Coffee decided on an Ethiopian coffee bean. Part of the blend is a dark roast and part a light roast. This was done to do our best to replicate the coffee roasting conditions and practices on the battle field. Coffee was roasted in a frying pan over an open camp fire resulting in an un-even roast. We have also added a small amount of Ugandan Robusta to give the coffee a toughness to it. There is no bite at the end of the swallow, but it stays with you for a while after drinking.

If you would like to try some of this coffee just email us at davidmbaldwin@gmail.com and we’ll send some out to you and bill you through PayPal. The cost is $12/pound plus shipping. This great blend will soon be available on our website.

Coffee Special:

Good Morning Everyone,

In honor of hurricane Sandy we are holding a bit of a sale. We can’t be at the roastery today so we thought we’d try something like this. Go to our website (www.furnacehillscoffee.com) and look

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

through our offerings of coffee. Then send us an email at davidmbaldwin@gmail.com with your order. We’ll take 10% off the order and anything of 4 pounds or more will get free shipping. We’ll bill you through PayPal. This offer is good through Halloween Night Midnight October 31st.

Share with us what coffee you are drinking today!

Thank you in advance for buying some coffee from us!

Blessings,

Dave, Erin, Lia, Regina & Kesha

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Coffee Consumption Rises Worldwide!

Good news for Furnace Hills Coffee Company. Yes worldwide coffee consumption is at an all time high in 2011. Below you’ll see the reports that are out re: coffee consumption and the new & emerging markets.

Here’s a question for you: Are you drinking more coffee this year than you did last? Is your personal coffee consumption up?

Worldwide coffee consumption increased by 1.3% to 139 million bags (of 60 kg each) in 2011 compared to 137.2 million bags in 2010 driven by growing demand in Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico, India, Venezuela and other countries, according to International Coffee Organization (ICO) .

As per the ICO data, exporting countries consumed 42.4 million bags of coffee in 2011 compared to 41 million bags in the prior year period.

Roasted coffee beans Español: Granos de café t...

Roasted coffee beans Español: Granos de café tostado (natural). Bahasa Indonesia: Biji kopi alami yang telah disangrai. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In its latest report the organization said: “The highest rates of growth (consumption) have been found mostly in exporting countries, which have increased their share of the total from 25 per cent in 2000 to 30.5 per cent in 2011,” reported The Economic Times.

The consumption in importing countries, including the US, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, the UK and Spain, was 96.6 million bags in 2011 compared to 96.1 million bags in the year ago period.

The importing countries, including the US, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, the UK and Spain, consumed 96.6 million bags in 2011 compared to 96.1 million bags in 2010.

In emerging markets like Russia, Korea, Ukraine, Australia, Algeria, etc, coffee consumption increased marginally to 25.8 million bags from 25.2 million bags in the previous crop year.

The global coffee production has been estimated flat at 134.3 million bags in the 2011-12 crop year, which runs from October to September, compared to 2010-11 as the shortfall in production in Brazil was compensated by increased production in other countries, particularly Vietnam, Peru and Honduras, ICO was cited by the news paper. (Taken from Hot Drinks Business Review, October 22, 2012) (http://hotdrinks.drinks-business-review.com/)

What Furnace Hills Coffees may you drink more of this next year? Check out our coffee offerings at http://furnacehillscoffee.com.

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