SAN ANTONIO -- A local family is hoping to save lives with a cup of Joe. They are starting a coffee shop that can help San Antonians rescue children in hurricane-stricken Haiti.
The soon-to-be-built coffee shop, the brainchild of husband and wife John Hicks and Meagan Jacobs, was concocted nearly six years ago after the couple’s first visit to the island.
“Haiti has a way of kind of grabbing a hold of your heart and not letting go,” said Hicks, a San Antonio firefighter.
It was back in 2010 when the two met Marie Jose Poux, the owner of an orphanage called Hope for Haitian Children. Her work, they said, captivated them so much they continued to visit year after year.
They said it has become a second home.
“There was something special about her and those kids,” said Hicks. “Those 37 kids have become our kids.”
Their coffee shop, called The Giving Spot, was in the works well before Hurricane Matthew struck the island. The two said their already-completed business plan is for a for-profit business in which 50 percent of the profits will be sent directly to support the orphanage.
The idea, they said, is to operate like a social enterprise.
“The coffee there is amazing,” said Jacobs. “We just wanted to pair the two together and thought, ‘Why not have a coffee shop that serves Haitian coffee that gives back?'”
Jacobs and Hicks said they have several potential spots picked out, as well as a business plan. They even have a supply of whole beans that they have been selling by the bag to help fund the company.
They said they don’t want to take out a business loan if they can avoid it because that would cut into the profits they’re able to donate to Haiti.
“It may not be tomorrow, it may not be in a month, it may be a year before we’re able to do it,” said Hicks. “But we’re going to do it one way or another.”
The two aren’t selling their coffee online. Instead, they urge anyone who wishes to support their cause to donate directly to the orphanage at hopeforhaitianchildren.org.
They’re also planning a separate event to support Hurricane Matthew relief efforts. The event, called “A Night in Haiti,” will include a screening of the 2011 documentary Grace and Mercy, which features Marie Jose and her orphanage. That will be held at the SAPFFA Banquet Hall on Nov. 6.