Coffee for the soul. Yes, it's a thing
Meet the Adelaide roaster who wants to share an everlasting cup
Roasting coffee beans is very now, like brewing quality beer or growing organic vegetables. But Ben Cosford is next level. Starting roasting with a popcorn machine in 2009, having freshly returned from Mongolia as a “poor missionary,” Ben founded bean business Soul City Roasters in 2015. The part-time minister in suburban Adelaide sells beans, recently opened the City of Churches’ first community roaster, and intentionally provides work opportunities to refugees.
“I don’t want to encourage retail therapy or impulse buying.” – Ben Cosford
“There’s this element of taking this green bean and drawing the best flavours possible out of it – to enjoy God’s creation at its best,” explains Ben fondly.
His shift into serious sales was born out of a need to supplement his ministerial wage. But Ben wants his side business to be gospel grounded.
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“One of the advantages of owning a business is you can set the tone,” says Ben. Primarily using social media to sell his beans, he seriously considers himself a “pastor to my customers, so I’m conscious in our marketing of not playing on weaknesses. I don’t want to encourage retail therapy or impulse buying.”
Meeting refugees in Adelaide’s northern suburbs caused Ben to commit Soul City to being an employment option for them. “I knew [Soul City Roasters] would lend opportunity to relationships and be able to share Jesus with people from all sorts of nations. Or, if I came across Christians, I could disciple them through the business as well.
“We want to help people physically with work, but the ultimate goal is to help them spiritually with salvation and eternity.”