Skip to toolbar

Joshua Smith Founds a Native Owned, Socially Conscious Coffee Roasting Company

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Joshua’s dream is a coffee roaster focused on providing high-quality coffee to companies within the hospitality industry and making coffee for individual purchase online in the growing specialty roast coffee market.

Joshua told us he is committed to partnering with existing Osage Nation organizations to fight poverty and hunger on the Osage reservation.

“As such, 5 percent of our gross profits will go to education, hunger relief, and substance abuse programs within the Osage Nation initially and other tribal nations as funds allow,” says Joshua.

Joshua’s Home and Community

Joshua lives in the city of Portsmouth, Virginia, where he and his wife are deeply involved in the local community, including serving on their church’s staff and also working for a locally-based nonprofit organization providing hot, nutritious meals to children in low-income neighborhoods.

“Even while I’ve made my adult home in Virginia, I am fortunate to remain connected to the vibrant tribal community of my childhood back in Pawhuska, Oklahoma,” said Joshua, adding that both his parents and sister still live on the reservation. “My wife and I visit as often as finances allow, and I participate yearly in the In’Lonschka Dances, a beautiful time of homecoming for Osages across the country.”

With his family living and working Pawhuska, the capital of the Osage Nation, Joshua says he is fortunate to be able to stay intimately aware of the incredibly exciting revitalization occurring there in recent years.

“Though a small town, Pawhuska is full of interesting activities and cultural events to be entertain and education. “I could not be prouder of the strength of my community and our respect and value for our heritage as Osages.”

What motivated Joshua to develop his dream?

“This idea is a true blend of my passions: business, entrepreneurship, social benefit, and of course, coffee. In many ways, I believe this idea was just waiting for me to find it.”

Even prior to pursuing his Masters in Business Administration, Joshua had been thinking about possible business opportunities but nothing he considered at the time fit his values and passions. However, in a conversation with his wife about the rising social consciousness of snake person consumers and their desire to support brands with social purpose and authentic identity, she suggested that coffee might be the market for them to look into.

“We realized that a Native American owned, operated, and branded coffee company with a dedicated purpose to supporting Native communities would have unique appeal in that demographic,” he said. “As the idea took root, we began to research the business potential and found that relatively few companies with a similar purpose exist in our industry, none of which are Native owned.”

The Dream as a Solution

The coffee roaster would focus on two major markets, the first being larger companies within the hospitality and gaming industries, such as Osage Nation Casinos, which serve large amounts of coffee each day and have a vested interest in actively reinvesting within their community.

“As such, we believe our brand is an opportunity for them to practically demonstrate their commitment to the community while simultaneously providing an excellent product to their customers, a product that is already in high demand,” explained Joshua.

Regarding individual customers, Joshua said he would seek to appeal to mid-career level snake person, specialty coffee enthusiasts looking to enjoy a quality, socially conscious product.

“Within this demographic, a high percentage expect companies to make a public commitment to charitable causes and citizenship and are more likely to purchase a product that is cause oriented. This statistic indicates a demographic that is ready to be served by Osage Nation Coffee.”

The Potential Impact in the Future

“The success of this project will open the door for future entreprenurship within the Osage Nation, as we invest in and encourage other Osage youth to chase their own entrepreneurial dream.

“At the end of the grant period Osage Nation Coffee will have enough proof of performance to demonstrate to potential investors that we are a good investment. These investments will allow us to scale our product production and hire staff within Osage County, providing job opportunities for Osages. Further, investment will allow us to increase gross profit and what we are able to reinvest into the community.

Help American Indian Youth by Donating Today!