October 7, 2015 2:31 pm
Updated: October 8, 2015 12:47 pm

Coffee company helping Manitoba’s most vulnerable

WATCH: A Manitoba coffee company is helping some of the province's most vulnerable. Global's Brittany Greenslade reports.


LOCKPORT — It’s a morning ritual for many people, to start your day off with a cup of coffee. Now two couples have turned their love of fresh roasted coffee into a way of helping some of the province’s most vulnerable.

Red Lake Coffee Co. is a give-profit company. The four owners donate every cent of its profits to Dignity House, an organization that helps sex trade workers transition out of the industry.

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“We’re roasting the coffee, we’re delivering it to your door and we’re only taking money to pay for the coffee beans and equipment,” said co-owner, Robyn Schantz. “We don’t take a profit from it.”

Since the company started in March, it has been able to increase its’ donations by five times, now donating around $500 a month.

“The bags sell for around $12 each, and roughly $4 from every bag sold goes directly to Dignity House,” said Leah Klassen, one of the other co-owners.

Dignity House opened about 3 and a half years ago and has been able to help roughly 40 women.

“These women don’t grow up saying i want to be caught up in prostitution one day,” said Shona Stewart.

Stewart spent years in the sex trade industry, and said she was coerced into prostitution at the age of 21.

“I spent 16 years in the life of prostitution,” said Stewart. “These women have all had childhood trauma. They are all somebody’s daughters, sister, mother, friend and they all have deep wounds.”

Now she is the executive director of Dignity House.

“Having gotten out of it, I found how difficult it was,” said Stewart. “My heart had been to get out there and help women transition out of that lifestyle.”

Dignity House relies solely on donations and the owners of Red Lake Coffee Co. have helped provide a monthly income for the group.

The beans are fresh roasted every Thursday and delivered to customers the next day.

Right now all orders are done through the website.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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