Did You Know That Went into Your Coffee?

                   “Would you like anything to drink?” the waitress asked.

                   “A cup of coffee would be great,” I responded.

                   “Cream and sugar?” 

                   “Just cream,” I smiled. “I’m sweet enough!”

                    She laughed. “Yes you are, honey! Coming right up.”


Okay, so the line is a little corny, but it never fails to make the other person smile whenever I say it, and more often than not, putting a smile on someone’s face is an even better pick-me-up than whatever’s going to be in the cup.


And what’s in my cup is pretty darn simple by today’s standards: straight up black coffee if it’s a good roast, maybe with a splash of milk or cream, and that’s it.


(It’s strange because I love coffee ice cream, and I may have my coffee alongside a slice of chocolate cake or other sweet treat, but I absolutely can NOT drink it if there’s any trace of sugar or other sweetener IN the coffee itself. The same goes for my tea. Don’t ask me why.)


I marvel at the rainbow assortment of decorations people put in their coffee/tea nowadays. From six different colors of sweetener packets and an equal number of different “milk” options (only half of which come from a cow), to syrups and sprinkles of cinnamon or cocoa powder and more, it’s amazing!


No matter how you like your morning (or afternoon… or evening…) cup, one thing we all agree on is that that cup makes a difference!


But what if your daily cup of coffee also made a first-hand difference for thousands of young people?


That’s exactly what Nick Bayer, CEO and founder of Saxbys, set out to do.


In this week’s episode of the Speaking to Influence podcast, Nick described the evolution (or was it a revolution?) of his company from being “just another café chain” to becoming a pioneer in experiential learning.


Beyond the coffee, as Nick says, they’re “in the human development business.”



Nick explained how today, every branch of Saxbys is on or near the campus of a partnering university, because they give students (average age is 19.5 years old) full authority over managing the entire business!


With the idea of teaching hands-on entrepreneurship to the next generation and incorporating the power skills of emotional intelligence, critical thinking and cultural agility, his philosophy is that combining these skills with their traditional classroom education will prepare young people for real-world leadership.


Even more impressive, Saxbys is a certified B-corporation. If you’re not familiar with it, certified B Corps are driven by the values of creating a more “inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy.” Way beyond lip service or a values statement on the wall, the company’s entire social and environmental impact are objectively measured by a third party. Needless to say, it’s a rare achievement.


Listen to the full conversation here or watch it on YouTube here – perhaps over your next cup of coffee!


I’ll think of you with a smile as I drink mine.