We are excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Thanksgiving Coffee Company to bring you Protect the Elephants Coffee, responsibly grown by farmers worldwide and lovingly roasted and packaged at their award-winning roastery in Fort Bragg, California.
It’s not just a cup, but a just cup of coffee.
When you drink our new Protect the Elephants Coffee, you’re supporting our work to protect the elephants in the Greater Mara Ecosystem in Kenya, one of the last wildlife refuges on Earth.
Joan and Paul Katzeff established Thanksgiving Coffee Company in 1972, developing their unique coffee roasting craftsmanship. Thanksgiving Coffee Company is a certified B Corp, leading a global movement of people using business as a force for good. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. They’ve raised over $500,000 with their cause coffee and Mara Elephant Project is thrilled to be their next featured cause. For Paul, it’s personal.
“I had an elephant friend named Helen when I was 10 years old. She lived at the Bronx Zoo and growing up, I lived five minutes from the Zoo. I got to know her by visiting once a week until I went off to college eight years later. On my early visits I noticed an elephant food dispenser near her outside enclosure and for five cents people could buy these little pellets of elephant food that came in 2-ounce packets. A person would empty the contents into their palm and offer them up to the nearest elephant who would extend their trunk to your palm and suck them up and then blow them into their mouth. I just couldn’t spend a nickel on 2 ounces of smelly pellets when I could get two pretzels at the candy store on my way to the Zoo, but I could stop at my uncle’s fruit and vegetable store, which was on the way, and get a free bag of overripe bananas, rubbery carrots and a pound of fresh roasted peanuts, which she loved and ate shells and all.
I visited with her until I went off to college and on my last visit, after spending a long day saying goodbye, I was about to leave (it was beginning to get close to closing time) the zookeepers came out and asked me if I wanted to give Helen a hug. They took me into the enclosure and encouraged me to approach Helen and to talk to her while slowly moving forward toward her. She lumbered over to me, and I touched her flank; I had only touched her trunk up to that point. I put the side of my face up against her rear flank and she was warm, and her skin was tough. I was 18 at the time, and they told me she was 36.
After a short while her keepers signaled it was time to go. I know I was at a loss for words; how do you say goodbye to an elephant? Turning my back, I began to walk toward the door when I was stopped by Helen’s trunk. She put the full weight of it on my shoulder and wrapped it slightly around my neck. I stopped in my tracks. “Don’t be afraid” the keeper said,” she is only saying goodbye.” I turned around to find her big dark eyes looking right into me and I know I cried in that moment and all the way home. When I came home from college 4 years later, she was gone.”
"Helen showed me how it is not only possible to share emotions with another species, but that it is essential for all of us to find a way to make that connection. The lesson she taught me has served me until this day and I am so happy to be telling you that story as we embark on our joint venture to use coffee to raise funds for Mara Elephant Project. It means a lot to me to join the elephants again.”Thanksgiving Coffee Company Founder Paul Katzeff
The Protect the Elephants light roast is grown in Kenya, and the dark and decaf are certified Organic and Fairtrade.
When you buy this coffee, $1.50 per 12 oz. bag and $5.00 per 5 lb. bag is donated to Mara Elephant Project.