Importin’ Joe’s Ethiopian Coffee bring new flavors and perspectives to Michiana

Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 5:38 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - A new business in South Bend is bringing a new perspective on coffee.

Importin' Joe’s Ethiopian Coffee isn’t just delivering a morning jolt right to your doorstep, but they’re also looking to make an impact in your community.

16 News Now sat down with the owner to learn why he thinks his company can do more than simply turn a profit.

You’ll see the hashtag #MoreCoffeeLessOrphans on every bag of Importin' Joe’s Ethiopian Coffee.

It doesn’t take long after meeting owner Joseph Luten to learn why those words are at the core of his brand.

“When I was in Ethiopia, we would engage in buna and then we would embark on various different adventures, but one thing that I would see all over the city were small children who were out living on their own. So, we established our for-profit enterprise to be a stream of revenue for our NGO that is in the process of being established right now,” Luten said.

Luten says Importin' Joe’s is the premier Black-owned coffee business in Michiana.

The goal is to keep growing his business, keep giving back to orphans, and eventually provide opportunities for communities of color in his own hometown of South Bend.

“We want to make South Bend Indiana our hub for distribution and manufacturing. In that, we have included into our business model work-study programs to kind of help get our children back and get them off the street, give them ample opportunity to learn about a new industry especially where they have been underrepresented for so long,” he said.

You can place an order by finding Importin' Joe’s on Facebook. They’ll deliver it right to your door.

Knowing your money is going to help people in need makes this cup of joe all that much sweeter.

Luten says he wants to help bring people together.

That’s exactly what he did Tuesday afternoon with Notre Dame students and police at their community outreach event.

During the election, Luten helped warm-up early voters waiting in line to cast their ballots with a fresh cup of joe.

“Especially given today’s current climate, I think it’s critical that we begin to create those bridges to have those talks over coffee possibly. You know, it’s a good start,” Luten said.

Making a difference in one bag at a time.

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