I have recently completed an interview with Rose Sheppard, the CEO and Owner of “Coffee for a Cause.” This venture was created in order to offer aide to US Veterans. They do not receive not ask for any money from the government to make this venture work. Please enjoy the following interview with Rose, and learn more about her organization. You may also want to check out their Facebook page.
Angela: First of all, tell me a little about yourself and your business, the name of your company or product, and what you sell or create.
Rose: For Warriors…By Warriors! Coffee For A Cause is a family-owned company who has had members serve in WWII, Korea, Iraq & Afghanistan. A large number of our company personnel are veterans.Our company was born out of the burning desire to help Military charities who help our warriors and their families and organizations who are raising funds for Veterans Memorials and 9/11 Memorials.We are able to assist with fundraising efforts through our Private Label Program which features our Private Reserve Exclusive Coffee which cannot be bought in stores.
Our coffee is Artesian roasted to your order in the USA using USA Made roasters. We do not stock pile coffee. You are able to customize coffee bags in your choice of colors with artwork and/or photo of your Memorial Project. You are able to continually raise funds on a monthly basis with re-orders which keeps your organization or project in front of your supporters in addition to gaining new supporters… everyone drinks coffee! We are shifting a demographic to support you with something they buy everyday and is residual for you.
Angela: What made you decide to become an entrepreneur and run your own business instead of being in a more traditional work environment?
Rose: After being in the Corporate world for over 25 years I became frustrated with top level management/owners not willing to expand business in creative ways which really focused on good old fashioned customer service. I was also tired of having many multi-million dollar deals shot down because they were afraid to take a risk.I wanted to build and create something of my own where I was in charge of my own destiny. If I was going to lay awake at night worrying about a business it would be MY business I was loosing sleep over and not someone else’s company.
Angela: If you are single with no kids, how do you find time to socialize? Are you “putting off a relationship for your career?” How do you balance work time and play time?
Rose: I love what I do….building this business is my passion in life so it doesn’t ever seem like work. Socializing is not on my radar right now because I know this business needs all of my time and energy just like when you raise a child. If you don’t nurture it it will wither. I live by the Napoleon Hill philosophies which encourage balance in your life. I listen to myself and pay attention to my body and always take time to re-charge the body and soul. 25 years of Corporate life taught me all too well about burn-out.
Angela: How did you get started in the business you are in? Is this work your passion, would you do it even if you were not earning money?
Rose: Watching military charities struggle so badly in this horrible economy made me think of a creative way to do something to help from a financial standpoint. I researched what was successfully making money in this economy and looked at the numbers…it was a no brainer. The demographic of addicted coffee drinkers has already been created, we are just shifting those buying habits and addictions to support our warriors in need.Absolutely YES…this is my passion….all of our proceeds are going towards establishing our own equine therapy facility.
The non profits that are in the military community should be the first organizations to receive money to help the overwhelming influx of warriors and families who are dealing with so many heartaches right now. There are organizations who are successfully implementing unique and alternative therapies that are REALLY working without the need to be medicating and addicting our soldiers with pills. They work with them individually not as a number in the system.The VA system is not capable of handling the huge numbers of soldiers coming into the system along with all of our older veterans. The back log is so bad we now have young veterans who are getting lost in the system and are becoming homeless.
Angela: How does your business benefit those in your community?
Rose: Of late our company has become a place where veterans in need and in crisis are reaching out to us. We have personally helped veterans with being homeless, suicide intervention, and helped with transportation issues. We are opening our arms wide and embracing these warriors to help them get through whatever hurtles in life they are experiencing. We are grateful and blessed that they have been brought to us and as a result our family has grown with these warriors who we call our brothers and sons. We will continue to embrace every soldier who is brought to us through the workings of the universe. This business/company is evolving into what it needs to be and we are smart enough to let it take wings and go in the direction it is suppose to journey into.
Rose: Here is some insight as why we are doing what we are doing through our company. 1) We want to help military charities to raise much needed money 2) We want to offer veterans a way to make a living that does not have a financial ceiling 3) Because of our family’s belief in helping our warriors and their families, the proceeds from Coffee For A Cause are being used to set up our own 501(c)3, Warriors Haven, we will be purchasing a ranch for a retreat for veterans so that we can help them through a program Horses for Heroes, equine therapy for disabled, PTSD & TBI veterans. We also want this place to be a location where the families can heal together.We wanted to ensure that what we do comes full circle and focuses on our warriors. Coffee For A Cause is not for us as a family, it is to help the charities who help our veterans.
Angela: Recently, President Obama gave a speech in which he made the statement, “If you have a business, you didn’t build that.” What would your response be to that statement if you had the chance to speak with him?
Rose: Mr. Obama has spent his entire existence on the Government dol, when you raise an individual on welfare the statistics show that this becomes a life style and mind set, of which he has. Never holding down a job in the real work sector or a business of his own….he is clueless. By this statement that he made, it shows me exactly what he thinks of the business community.
I literally put 2 years of my life into the planning and research of this business and now I work 16 – 18 hour days. I never received one thin dime from the government to get this business started. It began with MY BURINNG DESIRE TO HELP, MY IDEA, MY RESEARCH, and MY MONEY and I will not be forced to share what I have created to help someone who is too lazy to get out and get a job. I made the decision of WHO I want to help….our warriors and their families!
Angela: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Rose: Running CFAC and our equine therapy facility.
Angela: Is there anything else you would like for the public to know about your venture?
Rose:A couple of our current projects include Veterans Awareness Coalition out of New Hampshire. The founder, Paul Roy Jr, of this organization is a combat veteran and their mission is to address:
# PTSD awareness and treatment
# VA Claims
# VA medical treatment
# Education benefits
# Legislation affecting veterans
They want to provide facilities for veterans and their families to gather without the pressures of conventional therapy centers. Their facilities will be comprised of a resource center with computers, visits from veteran representatives, a relaxation area, homeless aid and community events to promote involvement and reintegration into society. http://www.vetawarenesscoalition.org
A second organization we are assisting is Operation Freedom Paws. Mary Cortani, Founder. Mary is a US Army Veteran and a certified Army Master Instructor of Canine Education as well as an American Kennel Club Certified Canine Good Citizen© Evaluator.
Operation Freedoms Paws works to empower Veterans and others with disabilities to live a quality life. They teach them the skills to train their own Service Dog. Capitalizing on the ability of the canine human relationship to help them regain their purpose, worth and value to society and their community.
Operation Freedom Paws trains the individual to train their own dog, and then certify them together as a Service dog team.
Operation Freedoms Paws matches dogs with individuals who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) symptoms, physical, neurological, psychological and/or mobility needs.
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