We are bringing awareness and equality to women of the coffee industry.
City Girl Coffee is not just a cute company with cool colors and a chic look. We are a sustainable and responsible coffee company who is working to bring awareness and equality to the women of the coffee industry. We source as much of our coffee as possible from small, women owned or managed farms and co-operatives, and give a portion of every sale back to the organizations that support the success of women in their country of origin.
In April of 2015, our Founder, Alyza Bohbot, was fortunate enough to attend the IWCA breakfast at a Seattle conference. There, a man from Colombia got up and told a story about a husband and wife. The husband had died fighting in the war, and when a key piece of farming material broke down, the Colombian banks refused to provide the loan the wife would need to keep her farm alive, for no other reason than she was female.
Of the world's estimated 1 billion poor, 70% are women. Women own less than 1% of the world’s titled land. The World Bank estimates that more than 500 MILLION PEOPLE throughout the world are dependent on coffee FOR THEIR LIVELIHOODS, and of that number, 25 million are coffee farmers. Hearing these staggering statistics, Alyza thought to herself, “There has to be something we can do." And then she thought, “How cool would it be if we had a coffee brand that tried to source as much coffee as possible from women coffee farmers, and then on top of that, worked with these organizations to give back to these women!"
At the Bogota Colombia IWCA conference in October 2015, 400 women and men from 30 different countries came together to discuss the issues of sustainability and gender equality. A member of the committee stood up, stopped in the middle of her speech, and said, “Can I just take a moment and say how amazing it is to see a board with 50% men and 50% women sitting on it? Can you imagine what this world would look like if that were the norm?” This quote speaks so accurately to one of the main struggles in these countries of origin. While women are often a majority of the workforce on a coffee farm, they rarely have decision-making power, much less access to family resources, rights, or proper education.
Empower. Encourage. Strong. Self-sufficient. Successful. Business owner. Beautiful. These are words women, not only in these countries of origin, but in every walk of life, hear far less than they should. Our hope is that City Girl Coffee can become a platform to make this change, even if only in the smallest ways. We can empower women to follow their dreams, to encourage one another instead of tear each other down, to become strong and self-sufficient in a world that continues to throw them challenges, to be successful, in whatever aspect that word embodies, and most importantly, to wake up every day beautiful.
So, cheers to women, cheers to you, and most importantly, cheers to waking up every day beautiful!
A sustainable and responsible coffee company, City Girl™ works to source our coffee from women owned and managed farms in order to bring awareness and equality to the women of coffee. Additionally, we send a portion of every sale to organizations that support our women partners and their surrounding communities.
In 1990, Nessim and Deborah Bohbot found themselves working in Duluth, MN and searching for the perfect cup of coffee. Finding specialty coffee lacking in that area, Nessim began roasting his own beans in his kitchen. The love of this craft triggered their desire to start a roasting company, called Alakef Coffee Roasters, in the basement of an old school building by the lake shores in Duluth, MN.
With warmer weather (and retirement) on their mind, Nessim and Deborah's daughter, Alyza, took sole ownership of the family business in January, 2015. As Alyza began to become involved in women’s organizations within the coffee industry, she set out to create a coffee brand that was not only cute, girl-tastic, and roasted just right, but was sourced responsibly and made a difference. And so, City Girl Coffee was born in November 2015.
Cafe Femenino Foundation
Gay and Garth Smith founded the Cafe Femenino Foundation in 2004 as a separate entity from the Cafe Femenino Coffee Program to help address the gender inequality, poverty and abuse that continue in many coffee producing regions throughout the world. Traditionally, most women in coffee producing regions actively participate in all farm activities, but have negligible influence on decisions regarding coffee sales or the use of proceeds. Without income or options, these women continue to hold out hope for a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities.
The Foundation provided its first grant to an Indonesian coffee co-op to provide emergency relief, food and basic necessities to remote villages following the devastating December 2004 earthquake and tsunami. Since then, CFF has funded numerous projects to address health, education, living and working conditions in coffee growing communities around the world.
International Women's Coffee Alliance
The IWCA is a global peer network of women in coffee that advocates for women from seed to cup and provide access to resources and a forum for connection.
More than 500 million people are dependent on coffee for their livelihoods, and of that number, 25 million are coffee farmers who typically live and work in substandard conditions and receive only a small percentage of the actual price that the coffee is sold to the consumer. Women, who represent a good majority of coffee farmers, face additional challenges.
Meet the team
Coffee Pick: Organic Guatemala Café Feminino
Loves: Spending time with her friends, family, and any animal, the sunshine, playing piano, and karaoke
Alyza was born and raised in Duluth, MN. She spent 10 years on the East Coast earning an undergraduate in retail management and a masters degree in school counseling before she returned to Minnesota to take over the family coffee roasting business, Alakef Coffee Roasters. She now serves on the board of directors for the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, and prides herself in being a champion for women’s rights around the world. She is beyond proud of the brand, City Girl Coffee, and the work it is doing to help bring awareness to the women of the coffee world.
Vice President Marketing
Coffee Pick: City Girl Organic Guatemala Café Feminino
Loves: Family time, her Puggle Rocky and cooking
Vice President Sales
Coffee Pick: Organic Mexican Altura Chiapas
Loves: Ohio State Football and listening to Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band
Head of Brand Development
Coffee Pick: City Girl Blend
Loves: Campfire stories, hiking, & trying new restaurants
Coffee Pick: City Girl El Salvador Finca Tia Tona Honey
Loves: Patios and late night improv
Coffee Pick: Ethiopia Yirgacheffe
Loves: Attending concerts
Coffee Pick: freshest crop in the door
Loves: learning something new every day
Production Team Member
Coffee Pick: Organic Sumatra
Loves: Learning new skills, baking pies, swimming in the lake
Kommissar of Coffee
Coffee Pick: Ethiopia
Bean slinger. Java Lama. Super Dad. Coffee Geek Extraordinaire.
Production Team Member
Coffee Pick: Organic Peru
Loves: Being a mom & the opportunity to work with such amazing people daily
Coffee Pick: Ethiopian
Loves: Custom art, hot nights, big faced bills, Italian suits, trips to anywhere
10 year employee
Production Team Member
Coffee Pick: Blondie: Brazil
Loves: Time with family, gardening, playing music and delivering coffee
Caffeine Requisition Expert
Coffee Pick: Guatemala and Sumatra
Loves: Astronomy, Geology, Adventure, All the Arts
Coffee Pick: Kenya AA, Moroccan Blend
Loves: Watching people take that first taste of really great coffee compared to what they used to like.