One BIGG Island in Space
By Bob Fish
It’s one of the most famous, most widely distributed images in history: a tiny blue green marble impossibly spinning in the vast blackness of space. It was taken by the Apollo 8 astronauts on their way to the moon and seeing it changed everything. I’ve always been interested in stories of exploration, and I have read countless articles, and watched many hours of interviews and documentaries on Apollo 8. The thing that inspires me is the perception shift the astronauts describe when they looked back on the earth from space: a profound feeling of awe and “oneness,” the boundaries that separate us melting away into insignificance. That’s what I see when I look at the picture… Earth as just one big island floating in a sea of space. We’re all in this together.
Too often, though, it can feel like we’re not, particularly in a post Covid-19 world. It’s so easy to feel isolated, separated from each other, living lives defined and limited by the artificial boundaries we impose: nationalities, cultures, languages, religions, politics. Even people living in the same city can feel isolated from each other by the boundaries of their neighborhoods. When given the opportunity to travel, sometimes we take our boundaries with us, and we move through the world as if we’re going through a museum. We see the sights, but we don’t make real connections with people, and there is no sense of connectivity when we are done.
I have been in the coffee business as a franchisor of coffee shops with my business partner Mike McFall since 1999. We have sold nearly 17 million pounds of coffee (and counting) through our company, BIGGBY COFFEE. It comes from all over the world including Central and South America, Africa and Asia. Yet even though I have visited many of these parts of the world as a tourist, rarely was there a sense of real connectedness with the people or the places.
I am committed to changing all of that for me… and, I hope, for you.
There are over 200 labor hours invested in producing and processing a cup of coffee long before it gets to our lips. If you’re like me, you drink coffee every day but have little idea as to where it comes from, what the people who produce it are like, how they live, whether they are being treated fairly, and whether they treat our planet and the people around them in a sustainable manner for all. I think these things are important, and it’s the kind of information that can bring us all a little closer and make some of the boundaries that separate us melt away.
Every gram of coffee that goes into your cup comes from somewhere… from someone. My wife Michelle and I are travelling the globe to find coffee farmers that are doing the right thing for their people, their communities, and our planet. Sustainability is the key. By buying their coffee crop in a Conscious way, meaning at a fair price, we can all be sure that what we drink everyday is making a purposeful difference to all of the Stakeholders and BIGGBY Nation. BIGGBY Coffee fanatics consume around 2,000,000 pounds of our coffee a year. By 2023, half of that will be sourced directly from farmers we know (and you will too) who are making the world a better place. And after 2023, the goal is to move to 100% Farm Direct.
We invite you to be right there with us as we meet the families and learn their names and their stories, bringing a name, a face and a place to every pound of coffee that we sell.
Together, we will explore what it means to be on our ”One BIGG Island in Space”… oneness without boundaries.