OUR ORIGIN STORY
Let’s begin the story of Equip within our nonprofit Victory Mission, of which Equip Coffee is a dependent social enterprise.
Victory Leadership was developing workforce development training for our long-term recovery Restoration Program. There was opportunity within Victory Mission’s Work-Ready Center but we noticed a gap.
We had no opportunities for apprentices seeking skills towards indoor professions such as Data Entry, Accounting, Sales, Counseling…. or anything else.
The solution was born, then-named Victory Coffee Co.
Through packaging and processing each order, apprentices would learn baseline skills such as consistency, patience, and attention to detail. As time progressed, more opportunities to learn complex skills would be presented.
Thanks to generous grant funding, we launched in June 2018.
Victory Coffee’s growth was slow but worthwhile.
Within the first year, our coffee company grew through Victory Mission’s connections to incredible church & business partners. To this day, we are grateful to the ones who were first to say ‘yes’: Jefferson Avenue Baptist, New Life Church, and Drew Lewis Foundation are only a few.
We soon redesigned.
Because of confusion with the already-popular ‘Victory Coffee,’ we also changed our name again: For Victory, A Coffee Company.
With the launch of our second re-branding venture, the social enterprise flourished within the church community. We partnered with local coffee shops, and introduced our infamous ‘sampler,’ a design created in partnership with SMC packaging.
We were hopeful for 2020, and even cited in an Springfield Business Journal article early in the year: “The goal for 2020? Double sales and provide their cup of joe to more businesses.”
COVID-19 tanked this vision. Businesses were not selling coffee. Our numbers dwindled to barely a fraction of our projections.
However, we celebrated! Noah Huskey became our first successful coffee apprentice in June 2020.
He then continued into his dream role as a chaplain apprentice within the Restoration Program. He would soon graduate this very program in the fall.
In Christmas of 2020, we also launched Custom Coffee Labels, which allowed businesses, churches, and individuals to give unique gifts with their own personalized brand. This venture made up over half of our holiday income–and over doubled last year’s Christmas target.
FALL 2021 – THE REBRAND
In October of 2021, coffee got a face-lift. We rebranded and got a new name: Equip Coffee. Why? We wanted to tell the story better. We had a dream of expanding the influence of coffee, that we would be able to share what God is up to throughout the city.
The stair-steps represent the ‘steps’ of your Restoration journey. ‘Equip,’ the name, represents the tools we are able to provide through our wholistic approach.