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Intent Coffee-help us open our first space

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Hi there! We are Intent Coffee, a first generation Pilipinx immigrant, queer, youth, and barista owned coffee collective rooted in building community through working in the spirit of Bayanihan.

Bayanihan is a Pilipino custom which refers to the spirit of communal unity, work, and cooperation to achieve a particular goal.

Our Vision: We strive to create a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable coffee industry and envisioning a better, kinder, and more just world.

Our Mission:  By hiring, investing, and empowering marginalized people in coffee, we will create a positive social and economic impact to the marginalized communities here in so-called Edmonton and as well as uplift Indigenous coffee producers in the Philippines.

Coffee is the second most sought after commodity after oil, but why are coffee producing countries still impoverished? Why don't we hear about the price fluctuation of coffee in the news? Why don't we hear about the effects of climate change in coffee and how that relates to mass migration of Black, Indigenous, Brown peoples? In response to this, we launched by hosting an event called "Coffee to the People!" in January 2020 at the Grizzlar Coffee and Records, our partners, where members of our QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) community learned about the bean-to-cup process, the amount of work that is put into producing coffee, the effects of climate change, the colonial history, gender inequality, food insecurity, and queerness in coffee.

After the event, we set out to build a coffee cart to launch at farmers' markets but then COVID-19 hit and we didn't end up pursuing it. We poured our time organizing within the Queer-Pilipinx community during that time.

A space landed in our lap mid July in Southgate Centre and we are currently taking over a former Tutti Frutti space and making it a coffee and tea bar. We have started doing construction ourselves and friends in the second week of August. We thought that our budget was enough to get the space ready until the costs started to add up. We have tried getting loans and financing from banks but we do not meet their eligibility and requirements such as having 3 times the amount we are borrowing in assets or that we need to already be in operation and have revenue. As two first generation immigrant, brown, queer, kids, we do not have access to assets nor do we have generational wealth. We are one of first ones to even attempt owning something within our families and communities. 

We ran out of options seeking help from conventional financing, and to be honest this never really worked in our favour as we are actively going against the grain by fighting to carve out spaces for our queer, brown bodies and for our communities within a system that does not want us to do this. So here we are, we turn to you, our community, for help. After all, we are rooted in working in the spirit of Bayanihan.

The $6,000 will help us cover the electrical and plumbing costs necessary to get our equipment running so that we can open our doors to safely serve and make space for the community by the end of August. If we do hit pass this goal, the rest will cover our operational costs such as paying our team and making this space sustainable.

We acknowledge that not a lot of us are capable of giving during this time of pandemic. Helping us getting the word out is already a huge contribution and would mean a lot to us. We've been dreaming about creating a space for ourselves and our communities for a long time and we are so close to making this a reality. Every single dollar counts!

Full transparency, we are a for-profit space that reinvests back into our communities by hiring and working with people within our communities.

Maraming salamat sa anumang tulong na inyong maibibigay,
(We thank you for any help you can offer)
-Mavi and Reika



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Mavi Tolentino
Edmonton, AB

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