Former Felons Take Chicago Coffee Crown

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Second Chance Coffee Company brand "I Have a Bean" selected as “ILLest Coffee in the State" by Whole Foods patrons in Chicago.

Our hope is that business owners will see the quality of our product and be more inclined to give a fair shake to former felons.

After counting the votes of hundreds of store patrons, the Lincoln Park Whole Foods Market on Kingsbury St. in Chicago awarded the “ILLest Award” (slang for ‘best’) to I Have a Bean coffee on Saturday. Their competitors in this contest included Metropolis Coffee Company, Bridgeport Coffee Company, and Big Shoulders coffee.

Former felons are actively involved in every aspect of I Have a Bean’s operation including roasting coffee on a machine invented by its founder, Pete Leonard. “Winning another competition like this is very rewarding,” said Leonard. “Our hope is that business owners will see the quality of our product and be more inclined to give a fair shake to former felons.”

Chicago has seen the emergence of a thriving coffee culture, founded by industry stalwarts such as Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea and Metropolis Coffee and now home to more than a dozen new independent artisan roasters and many more independent cafes. Fanny Cantero, Associate Marketing and Community Relation Specialist at Whole Foods, said, “The ILLest is a friendly competition amongst Illinois producers of a like product at our Lincoln Park location. This past weekend, I Have A Bean was selected by our customers as the ILLest (best) coffee in the state!” No stranger to winning contests, I Have a Bean won a similar “Turf Wars” competition at the South Loop Whole Foods Market at the end of February.

About I Have a Bean
I Have a Bean coffee is roasted by the Second Chance Coffee Company in Wheaton, IL and is available at most Chicago area Whole Foods Markets where it is experiencing the fastest growth of any product in the region. Second Chance Coffee Company is the only for-profit coffee roasting company with a social mission of employing former felons. The company selects its coffee from among the top 1 percent of coffee in the world, and is known for roasting and delivering coffee the same day it’s ordered by its customers.

Contact Information:
Second Chance Coffee Company, 657 Childs St. Wheaton, IL, 60187. 630-384-9657 For more information about Second Chance Coffee Company and I Have a Bean, contact Pete Leonard at pleonard(at)ihaveabean(dot)com.

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Pete Leonard
I Have a Bean
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