Big news! We— the team comprised of Olympia Coffee and Moonrise Bakery— are proud to announce that we have just been certified as a Living Wage for Coffee Employer by Living Wage for US! And not only that, but we've been awarded the highest tier, Living Wage Leading Plus. As a company that's actively working toward setting the standard for fairness and care in the service industry, this affirmation of our efforts is incredibly encouraging. And it's just the beginning!
"Quality of life" is a phrase we use a lot around here. Maybe you've noticed it on our website, in our emails, on our Instagram posts, on our coffee bags ... you get the picture. It means a lot to us. So, in our mission to improve the quality of life for our staff, our coffee producers, and our communities, this independent certification is a huge step toward the kind of transparency and accountability we advocate for.
So, what is this Living Wage certification?
First of all, it is independently-verified, meaning that our company— with our three cafes in Seattle (including Moonrise Bakery), one in Tacoma, and three in Olympia— is paying all our employees a living wage based on the real costs of living in all three counties. This accounts for tips, health insurance, and employer contributions toward retirement.
The highest tier, Leading Plus, was awarded based on additional company benefits, such as dental and vision insurance, paid time off, education and training, coffee benefits, paid volunteer hours and life insurance.
Why does this certification matter?
And accountability matters, because we as a company want to do more than meet standards— we want to set them and lead our industry. Along with our B Corp certification, we’re setting an industry standard we hope others will follow toward much-needed change.
“From the founding of Olympia Coffee, our goal has been to build a company that improves quality of life for everyone connected to it," said Oliver Stormshak, our CEO and Co-Owner. "This third-party audit and certification from Living Wage for US clarifies that we are doing this in a real, measurable way for our staff, and it holds us accountable to our mission.”
Along with the B Corp. certification and Fair For All coffee-sourcing standard, Olympia Coffee and Moonrise Bakery aim to set the bar high and drive the service industry toward transparency, accountability, and, ultimately, lasting change for good. In the specialty coffee industry, Fair For All goes beyond Direct Trade and Fair Trade to ensure that coffee cooperatives, farmers and all coffee laborers are paid fair wages and have safe working conditions.
Sam Schroeder, one of the founders and co-owners of Olympia Coffee, is proud of how far we've come and where we're going. “Together with our Fair For All sourcing standard and our B Corp. certification, this Living Wage Leading Plus designation means that we can help create more joy for our coffee producers, our staff and our communities."
What does industry-leading compensation look like?
So glad you asked. We've put together this chart comparing standards of minimum wage (for Seattle and Washington state) with the standard for living wage. The bar on the right shows the base wage, at time of writing, at Olympia Coffee and Moonrise Bakery. It also shows some of the nifty benefits that helped us get this incredible certification— and that all of our employees have access to and get to enjoy.
More care, more joy
Our team's theme this year is to create more joy. Toward that end, nothing could lay a better foundation than how we care for our people. When we set a high standard, more people receive better compensation and experience an improved quality of life. And that means more joy for everyone— for our sourcing partners, for our team members, and for you!