Extreme Esteem takes form of coffee this season

Sandra Storey

Holiday Food and Drink

Jamaica Plain-based non-profit Self Esteem Boston is offering the community a taste of creative fund-raising and coffee at the same time this holiday season.

Bags of Extreme Esteem coffee, recently offered for sale on the organization’s web site, www.selfesteemboston.com, will be for sale in a variety of places in JP and elsewhere.

Proceeds from the new coffee venture support women’s programs in shelters and transitional programs throughout Greater Boston.

Extreme Esteem Coffee, made from Costa Rican, Indonesian and French-roasted Kenyan beans, is blended at the woman-owned Carpe Diem coffee company in Maine. The coffee is made fresh and shipped directly to customers in one- or two-pound bags.

Self Esteem Boston’s Executive Director Marion Davis said she and staff member Jeri Levitt came up with the idea of selling the coffee several months ago as a way to make up financial losses due to the down economy.

When they asked Carpe Diem, whose coffee Davis said she enjoys when she visits Maine, if they could put Self Esteem Boston’s name on the company’s coffee, “they loved it,” she said.

Self Esteem is trying to raise $25,000 by the end of the year. “We don’t know how much we will make with this,” Davis said. “We would be happy with $1,000, and we have nothing to lose” from the enterprise

Davis said they have found that “if people feel connected to a cause, they will send $25. But people are also willing to buy something they will enjoy that is connected to a cause.” She pointed out how much people seem to enjoy coffee.

Self Esteem will feed that pleasure by having a Jamaica Plain Coffee Party at Prudential Unlimited Realty from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 5, the day of the tree lightings at the Monument and in Hyde Square and related activities in the business district. The coffee party is also sponsored by Boston City Councilor John Tobin and state Reps. Liz Malia and Jeffrey Sánchez. Members of the Moodswings will provide free music in the afternoon.

Packaged Extreme Esteem Coffee will be available at Levitt’s art table at First Thursday on Dec. 3 at the Loring-Greenough House.

Local businesses that also happen to sell coffee are actually pitching in to help. City Feed and Supply, J.P. Licks and Iggy’s Bakery are donating some sweets to go with the coffee at the Dec. 5 event.

Whole Foods in Brighton has agreed to sell Extreme Esteem Coffee for the entire month of December and “not make a penny” on it, Davis said.

Packaged Extreme Esteem Coffee will also be sold at Boston City Hall on Dec. 2 and 4.

For more information, go to the Self Esteem Boston web site, e-mail [email protected] or call 983-1111.

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