How to Drink Your Next Cup of Conscious Coffee

Save shelter pups with every sip.

By: Jessica Ourisman
How to Drink Your Next Cup of Conscious Coffee

How many of your mornings begin with a meticulously prepped cup of coffee? The habits that make up your morning routines are impactful. They herald you into activity and set the tone for the rest of the day. By opting for coffee from Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co., which allocates 20% of profits to support shelter dogs, you can make your mornings more meaningful by aligning the value of animal welfare with the outward act of self-care.

With the company’s eighth anniversary occurring days ago on April 1, it is the ideal time to consider swapping your usual bag of coffee for one of their ethically-minded, organic blends. Because their business model supports those dogs without loving homes, it supplements an everyday activity with a compassionate intention that aligns seamlessly with our own founder’s belief that giving back to animals nourishes the soul.

The founder and CEO of Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co., Jordan Karcher, explains that he started with the idea to build a business that simultaneously supported the animal rescue movement. “One of the primary constraints I noticed while spending time with rescue organizations was the constant need to fundraise without certainty of what the future may hold,” he tells rē•spin. “I challenged myself to create a business model that would be self-sustaining and for-profit while also addressing this funding constraint [among] rescues.” And thus Grounds and Hounds Coffee Co. was born.

The Inspiration: Molly the Rescue

Part of what makes the company’s mission so compelling is that it arose authentically from the founder’s experience of adopting his first dog, Molly. “When I adopted Molly [in 2012], I was introduced to the world of animal rescue [and] I had a desire to make a difference for pups in need,” he says. “While thinking of ways I could help at a meaningful level, it hit me that the two best parts of my day were waking up to a wagging tail, and a delicious cup of coffee. Once those two elements of my world connected… Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. came to life.”

Since the company’s conceptualization, Karcher’s dogs (he has since adopted a second, Jazz) have played a regular role in his personal wellness regimen as an entrepreneur. Building a business is more than a full-time job; Karcher dubs it one of the great challenges (albeit a rewarding one) of his life. “From the moment I wake up until I go to bed, I am constantly thinking about the business, how to grow, problems to solve… If it weren’t for my two pups, it would be very hard to ever truly decompress and recover with time away from the office and meetings,” he says. He begins each day with a two-to-three mile walk without his phone or music — but with his two furry children (“dog-ters,” if you will) to keep himself grounded in the face of stress. As the head of the brand, this passion for both the product and the cause it supports is what provides a greater purpose behind the company’s success, keeping him focused.

Why Shelter Dogs?

rē•spin considers the wellness of all — from the multidimensional self to the earth‘s ecosystems and their fellow sentient creatures — a top priority. But the fact is that the connections we share with our pets go beyond companionship; they are family. As such, it is so important to take the time to consider the animals with no advocates, in shelters without loving homes and families to belong to. 

“If you spend any time in a shelter, you’ll quickly realize how devastating it is that these happy, healthy, excited, tail-wagging pups may not be on the planet much longer,” says Karcher, referencing the estimated 2.1 million dogs euthanized annually in the United States. “While we have made tremendous progress as a society, there are still hundreds of thousands of dogs euthanized in shelters every year. Not to mention the countless dogs who are discarded, neglected, and abandoned.”

He is confident that we, as a society, possess what it takes to remedy this problem. What Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. is essentially doing is making it possible for you to shift a portion of your day (and funds) towards this end simply by drinking a delicious cup of their coffee. This sort of creative, problem-solving approach inherent in the brand is part of what defines his style of compassionate entrepreneurship. “By no means do I think I am the leading voice in the world of animal rescue, but advocating for the wellness of shelter dogs feels like a privilege more than a duty or responsibility,” Karcher says. “I simply feel like the absolute minimum I can do is advocate for the amazing creatures, as they’re already their own best spokespeople. I just have a wider vocabulary to be their champion.”

Sipping Coffee More Consciously

We are no strangers to the notion of viewing our pets as spiritual teachers, and Karcher finds inspiration in dogs’ capacity for unconditional love and resilience in spite of adversity. “We humans, as a species, have so much to learn from animals and rescue dogs,” he says. “From my two [dog] children to the countless dogs I have met in shelters, there is an innate ability to love and thrive regardless of what they have experienced, or how terribly they have been treated.”

Consider the power of gratitude — a feeling that when mindfully channeled can be transformative to your mood, vibe, and lifestyle — and how easily it can be inspired in the presence of your pets. In this way, sipping a cup of coffee with the intention to give back to animals, and specifically, shelter dogs can be an admirable, wellness-infused way to begin each day. While Karcher’s venture was inspired by his love of dogs, the simple act of drinking coffee more intentionally inspires wellness. It is often said that in life, the present moment is where all the answers can be found; by bringing conscious presence to this daily act, you can opt to endorse the kind of brand that is paving the way for a more compassionate future. In this instance, it is being made possible by the brand behind your coffee beans.

Where to Begin?

Really, the only thing left to consider is how to best prepare your cup as you nourish your soul while giving back to the furry friends we love so much. The website offers light, medium, and dark roasts, as well as decaf and cold brew options. You can buy your beans ground, whole, or even in pods, with origins in countries ranging from Central and South America to Asia and Africa. Perhaps your favorite preparation will be a blend of Soul Pup and oat milk or some easy-to-prepare Sunny Spot Cold Brew Coffee Pouches with a splash of soy. 

“I’m a traditionalist, so the only thing you’ll typically find in my cup of coffee is coffee,” Karcher says. “However, I can say that I start each morning with a double shot of our Two Tails Espresso Blend as an Americano with about ½ the water of a normal Americano… then I move on to one of many pour-overs that keep my heart beating throughout the day.” With numerous options and tasting notes to choose from, your perfect cup of conscious coffee awaits.


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