In a time of big corporations and globalization, it can be difficult for the average mom and pop store to prosper. Despite these setbacks, small businesses have a secret weapon for success: community involvement. Many small businesses bring the community together – serving as hosts for local events or spots to meet up and chat.
River City Roasters, a small coffee shop in Wheaton, Illinois, incorporates community in everything they do. A 2015 DREAM BIG Blue Ribbon Award finalist, River City Roasters opened in 2013 as a place for the Chicago suburb to come together over a cup of delicious, artisan coffee. Through their motto “Coffee, Connection, Community,” River City Roasters has grown from a small brick and mortar shop to a staple for caffeine in the neighborhood.
Their success is in part due to their ties to the international community as well. River City Roasters is different than many coffee shops because of their dedication to the quality of their product and commitment to the people at the start of their supply chain. Traveling to India and Africa, the owners of River City Roasters visit and order directly from the manufacturers of their coffee, boosting the local economies of those areas. This direct trade, they hope, will allow more children in these areas to go to school and get good jobs down the line. Bringing people together over a simple cup of coffee, River City Roasters is connecting communities across the globe.