Sustainability Partners

Crafting truly exceptional coffee takes a world of good friends. From the very beginning, we've wanted to do more than a typical coffee roasting company. We want to set the bar higher, but we know we can't do it alone. Over the years, we've developed relationships with a handful of like-minded activists, community members, and entrepreneurs that share our same values and help us make a difference in the world of coffee.  

Partners in community development

Higher Grounds donates 1% of our profit to On the Ground, empowering coffee farming communities through gender and social equity, environmental sustainability, and economic security.

After spending significant time getting to know coffee producers in Chiapas, Mexico, Higher Grounds' co-founder Chris Treter saw the vast disparity that exists between coffee farmers’ lives and ours: no guarantee of an education; no adequate healthcare, and most importantly, access to safe, clean drinking water. Alongside a handful of like-minded activists, Chris organized the Chiapas Water Project that would later grow into On the Ground.

LEARN MORE about On the Ground's ongoing work in farming regions  >

Sustainable, ethical importers

Higher Grounds purchases the vast majority of our coffee via the green coffee importing cooperative we helped to form and of which we are co-owners: Cooperative Coffees.

By importing directly, CC creates a transparent and sustainable system of trade that directly benefits farmers and their entire communities.

Coop Coffees’ story began in 1997, when founder Bill Harris decided to start Cafe Campesino, a coffee roasting company, and imported one full container, approximately 40,000 pounds. Needless to say, Bill was up to his ears in green coffee. So Bill began looking for value-driven roasters to invest in a collective coffee importing venture. In 1999, seven roasters officially formed Cooperative Coffees. Higher Grounds joined the clan when we officially formed in 2003.

Now CC has grown to include 22 roasters who span the continent from the Yukon to Florida’s panhandle. Committed to sourcing sustainably grown coffee and to long-term partnerships with the farmers who grow it, we know that by working together, we can multiply the positive effects of our selective coffee purchasing.


Other Michigan B Corps
We’re thrilled to be part of a vibrant community of B Corps in Michigan and encourage you to check them out!

Grand Rapids
616 Lofts
Bazzani Building Company
Brewery Vivant
Cascade Engineering
Catalyst Partners
Essence Restaurant Group
The Gluten Free Bar
Highland Group
The Image Shoppe

Gazelle Sports

Buy the Change

Better Way Imports

Community Allies
While many great things can be accomplished through coffee, Higher Grounds also loves to support other organizations championing other causes we care about, from smart transportation to local food to equal rights. Learn more about some more of our great friends below.

Norte Youth Cycling

Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities

Safe Harbor