Person drinking out of mug

The Top 1%

Story

I Have a Bean offers a chance at redemption and helps change attitudes about previously imprisoned people returning to society — all while making great coffee.

I Have a Bean is dedicated to roasting phenomenal coffee beans, procuring beans at the top 1% and winning numerous taste competitions. The company is also committed to hiring individuals released from prison, whom founder Pete Leonard notes are often considered the bottom 1% of society.

pete leonard smells the coffee roast

Guided Reflection

Reflecting on the Story

  • Pete comments that running a business is “not all it’s cracked up to be,” and yet he would not choose anything else. What is it about the work he is doing makes it both difficult and compelling?
  • What do you think about the intentional strategy of hiring convicted felons, or others who are considered “unemployable”? What are the potential advantages and disadvantages of this approach?
  • What is the connection between creating high-quality, award-winning coffee, and hiring those who have very few employment options?

Connecting to your Work

  • What connections do you see between your own identity and the quality of the goods or services that you produce at work?
  • How can your work intentionally build up the community around you?

Personal Application

  • Pete saw the need to create redemptive opportunities for people who were shunned by society. In what ways can you imprint redemption into the relationships you have at work?

Heavenly Father, thank you for Pete Leonard and the redemptive work of I Have A Bean. Thank you for the many lives the company has touched all in the name of making good coffee. I pray for the opportunities I have in my work and in the community around me. May I be intentional in giving dignity and a voice to those who lack such things. Amen.