Outside compass

Coffee with a Conscience

Compass Café

6. Clean Water and Sanitation 16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Overview

Compass Café, a mission-driven coffee shop located in Queens, New York, aims to stop human injustices and provide clean water using social media as a catalyst to their business. Partnering with multiple nonprofits, their influence is not only local, but it extends globally reaching parts of Africa and South America.

Author

Aaliyah Azimulla

Aaliyah Azimulla

School

St. John's University

St. John's University

Professor

Charles Wankel

Charles Wankel

Innovation

Compass Café utilizes social media to build a strong brand around its mission and provide outstanding service to its customers and community. The coffee shop has drawn people from multiple parts of the world through its online presence. At the same time, some of their new customers stumble in while others enter seeking a different type of setting.

Compass Café, inspired by its founder’s missionary experience in Haiti, is decorated with an "old world" theme infused with French influence. Reminding customers that their contributions are more than just coffee, reaching places they may never see. Located near John F. Kennedy International Airport, many travelers looking for a hidden gem are hooked to the call for action that substituting their daily cup of coffee makes with every purchase. This coffee shop fosters a family-like community turning visitors into regulars making their local business boom. Their constantly revolving products extend past amazing treats, including limited editions that entice new foot traffic and conversation starters. Compass Café added new products, consisting of memorabilia and merchandise, to allow customers to share, support, and represent their patronage.

Coffee with a Conscience

Inspiration

The inspiration behind Compass Café starts with a mission, a dream, and good coffee. Traveling to Haiti and making water filtration systems for the people facing extreme poverty, the founder Pastor Sharo Ramkhelawan decided to open a coffee shop in order to, "make a difference in the lives of the people they met." After leaving Haiti, passionate and ready to make a difference through a dream she was inspired to open a coffee shop.

After much consideration, social media marketing was the most productive way to share Compass Café's mission with the world. The company uses social media to present its customers with seasonal drinks and brunches featuring various cuisines, from fajitas to ramen. The motivation for reaching as many people as possible was to grow support for the mission and get the message out. Compass Café fights human injustice, and "you make the difference."

Overall impact

The innovation of applying social media marketing to the café business outline was an instrumental tool in building such a passionate and supportive community. Regan Neepaul, the manager of Compass Café said, “Compass coffee is coffee with a conscience; a cup of coffee that will save the life of someone else around the globe”. The United Nations sustainable goals 6 and 16, aligns with the pursuits of Compass Café to fight human injustice. Goal 6 refers to clean water and sanitation for all people. Through the nonprofit Pour Out, Compass Café can provide clean water to remote parts of the world like Haiti, Mozambique, and many other impoverished countries. Goal 16 refers to the pursuit of peace, justice, and strong institutions. In the year 2021, the business had successfully contributed ten thousand dollars towards its efforts to fight human trafficking in its home state of New York.

The societal impact of building the brand’s reputation to authentically supporting missions has led the business to contribute to the community in many ways. In building their reputation to establish their passion, they provided baristas with training to identify and respond to signs of human trafficking. “The added awareness boldly places our baristas in a league of their own. We are not only here to satisfy your coffee needs, but we genuinely want to make the world we live in a better place. Our society is already ravished by a multitude of injustices, but we exist to eradicate all of them.” The baristas at Compass Café are strategically located in New York City, within five miles of John F. Kennedy International Airport. Being located at a vital spot in New York City provides the opportunity to make a difference through awareness. In this sense, Compass Café baristas are equipped should their training be necessary.

Business benefit

The business benefit of utilizing social media is to keep customers up to date on the latest news and updates. Compass Café has an online store making it possible for supporters all over the United States to get merchandise. In this sense, the number of customers is not limited to the people in the local community. Additionally, Compass Café is familiar with many of its regulars and always strives for the best service possible. The unique atmosphere of positivity and relaxation means your first visit will not be your last.

Social and environmental benefit

Compass Café uses social media to reach its community with positive posts. On social media, it is common to encounter negativity, but Compass Café strives for positivity in all aspects of the business. Being in a low-income community the café brightens the community, and locals can feel the difference of ambiance from its outer appearance to the first step through the doors. In the future, Compass Café has plans to further its mission and bring its “something special” to different places across the United States. The manager said the goal is, “To expand across the US and the rest of the world, fighting human injustices and most importantly share the light of Jesus Christ.” Compass Café is built on its family-like community and customers are strengthened by being a part of something bigger. Through every purchase made, each customer can answer the question, “Where would you go to help someone you will never meet?”

Interview

Regan Neepaul, Manager

Photo of interviewee

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Compass Café

Compass Café

JAMAICA, NY, US

Business Website: https://www.mycompasscafe.com/

Year Founded: 2015

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

"Compass Café is a mission-based coffee shop that gives our consumers the opportunity to use their coffee addiction to eradicate human suffering."