How Calgary’s Kingdom Coffee Gives Back

The coffee company is dedicated to helping those in need, using part of its coffee bean sales to help get unhoused people into recovery and find them a place to stay.

Photo courtesy of Kingdom Coffee.

Offering hope to strangers and fostering friendships through coffee and conversation is the mission of Kingdom Coffee founder Jesse Singleton.

When Singleton was a child, his father, Jim, went to jail for the first of many times, eventually ending up on the streets with a heroin addiction. In 2010, a group of pastors came upon Jim in front of the Calgary Drop-In Centre. “They found my dad on the street, they shared a cup of coffee together and brought him to a recovery centre — and changed his life,” Singleton says.

Jim ultimately became a pastor himself, helping others on the streets and reconciling with his son.

After Jim’s untimely death in a workplace accident in 2015, Singleton didn’t want his father’s transformation to be in vain. In 2016, he and his wife, Steph, started giving away coffee outside the Drop-In Centre. In 2017, the couple started their own coffee company, Kingdom Coffee, from their garage. It has since grown into a roastery and café in Ogden, with a second location at Crossroads Market. Kingdom products can be found in grocery stores across the city, and a portion of every bag of Kingdom coffee beans sold goes to helping get unhoused people into recovery and finding them a place to stay. The Kingdom team still gives away coffee and provides meals to the unhoused every week. Kingdom Coffee also launched a food bank in 2022 that helps more than 2,000 families.

Singleton says it all comes back to honouring his father’s legacy, and how he was able to come to a place of peace and recovery. “We want to encourage others in that as well,” he says.

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This article appears in the November 2023 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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