CATALYST COFFEE AND TAPHOUSE
Closing the gap on communal dissonance.
Catalyst Coffee and Taphouse
Ezra is a musician, artist, theologian, and visionary. He never stops dreaming, and always dreams big. Ezra cares deeply for people in oppression. Through dozens of trips out of the country to India, Greece, and Mexico, Ezra has already done great things for national communities. Catalyst Coffee and Taphouse is the next step for making even greater impacts locally and nationally.
Adam Nicholson is one of the founders of Catalyst Coffee and Taphouse. He is thrilled to bridge his passion for people and business in dynamic ways. Adam embodies an adventurous and creative lifestyle through who he is as a person, all the while inviting people in to join and learn.
A coffee cupping event put on by Jubilee, Sweetbloom, and Pablos Coffee.
Coffee cupping event.
Ezra documenting the beautiful cityscape in India.
The children in Bengaluru India loved their new backpacks that Ezra and his Hope Venture team helped to provide.
Masinagudi India is a truly beautiful place.
Bengaluru India most well known as the capital of the Karnataka state is flourishing with life and love.
Students in Tanzania enjoy recess teaching us that they are better at Duck Duck Goose than we are.
The Tanzania team had an amazing opportunity to wash the porters feet. In this powerful time, walls were broken down, and lifelong connections were made.
The Argentina team is packed and ready to head up Aconcagua then spend quality time in Mendoza connecting with people.
Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?
Website or social media url(s) (optional):
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Idea (hoping to get started in the future)
1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."
Upon returning from large, impactful trips aiding severe poverty thousands of miles away, looks of eager aspiration filled people’s eyes as the story is told. This ill-perceived notion that we made an impact far greater than they ever could coats every word from their mouth. During these interactions, we not only realized that you don't have to spend $3000 to fly across the world in order to make a change, but that you can have an equal, if not greater, impact with a fraction of the cost, time, and energy in your very own communities. Catalyst Coffee and Taphouse is the helping hand that exposes and connects people to reality, projects, and opportunities right at their doorstep.
Catalyst is aptly named, for it is a platform that turbocharges creativity, welcomes community, and motivates neighboring people to flourish together---all offering the best coffee and craft beer in Lakewood.
Lakewood, a shattered and fragmented community reaching out for a solution to mend its cracks. People that call Lakewood home, fall into the ever growing segment of life lived in the motions. We need a vision to gather behind, a space to meet, and a progression toward change. Catalyst Coffee and Taphouse intends on being the next stepping stone through refined coffee, beer, and community space.
2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
Lakewood is in dire need of a space that has a vision behind it. People have skills and passion, but no objective to push toward. The city is largely fragmented and disconnected from the realities of their neighborhoods and Denver proper. There is no accommodating workspace open past 9pm especially one that involves innovation and collaboration. The Lakewood community is teeming with potential. The problem exists because Catalyst doesn’t.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
We see Catalyst Coffee and Taphouse as the face of positive change that stands on the forefront of problems, issues, and harsh realities in greater Denver and beyond. By welcoming these realities, stories, and experiences into Lakewood, Catalyst aspires to mold a community that encourages conversations and connections with the poor, oppressed, and displaced people in their own city in formative and sustainable ways. Currently, no such stimulant exists in Lakewood.
* For more information on our solution, see attachment.
4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
Average Joe walks into Catalyst Coffee and Taphouse, warmly welcomed by our staff and atmosphere. On his left, Joe sees photos of refugees, local art, and storyboards full of bright smiles. Intrigue colors his face, as he approaches the counter and asks the barista how Catalyst is involved. The barista passionately replies with personal stories of a recent Myanmar trip where he aided Rohingya Refugees. He goes on to explain how Catalyst has partnered with dozens of local and national organizations striving to do the same. Upon finishing Joe’s order, the barista mentions how tips at Catalyst fund future trips and outreach events. After contributing an easy 15%, Joe takes a seat. While overhearing a diverse group of people fervently sharing ideas, Joe is inspired to ponder what he can do. Joe heads home with a new passion to join the thriving Catalyst community--the Lakewood community.
5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
Catalyst Coffee and Taphouse is not trying to be the biggest and best humanitarian aid in Denver; we are trying to connect the biggest and best ideas to local, diverse communities that can work together towards bigger and better solutions. Currently, there are so many organizations that are doing the same thing because none of them are working together. We believe that people working together can achieve more. We’re trying to be the best at coffee and beer, while bringing the rest together. We’re all striving to aid humanity; Catalyst is the space where we intersect and strive together.
6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
To date, Catalyst is still in the beginning stages of planning and brainstorming. We believe that to be successful in our mission, we need to be successful with our coffee and beer sales. If we are interesting people with our product, they will come and engage with all areas of our space. It will be relatively easy to track our impact through hours volunteered, profitability, community engagement at events, vocational training classes attended, and feedback from employees and customers. Participation, big or small, is a positive difference for Catalyst.
7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
The first step is to continue discussing our vision and its potential with friends and family. Brainstorming together, we have already come up with a few of the next tangible steps to put our plan into action:
Find a building in north Lakewood that will have 2 to 4 thousand sq/ft of event and work space.
Renovate space to be clean and modular.
Obtain food, liquor, Lakewood business, and Colorado tax licenses.
Hire a dedicated team of coffee lovers, beer fanatics, and passionate people for community and humanity involvement.
Create a social media marketing presence and website.
Finish a more in depth business plan including comprehensive financial plan and marketing plan.
Partner with local organizations in Denver.
8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?
Catalyst Coffee and Taphouse will never become a reality if people don’t partner with us. After-all, we are an entity striving for courageous community, connection, and creativity. We need partners that believe in our vision and are willing join us through any support possible, whether that is financial, relational, emotional, and/or time. We are depending on the cooperation of our people to create the beginning of the Catalyst community.
For us, taking Catalyst to the next level means bringing it into existence. That’s why the resources we need are listed in question 7. Community and partnership is so vital to Catalyst’s framework, and we have already begun to dialogue with local organizations, sponsors, and potential team members.
9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.
The subject of this question is the main proponent of Catalyst. We’ve been engaging with our personal communities and have had astoundingly positive feedback as other recognize the potential we are addressing. Adam has a great network of business mentors through the university that he seeking guidance under while Ezra has traveled nationally and created a large network of outward minded people.
Partnering with other changemakers and involving young leaders is a foundational objective of Catalyst. Like we said at the beginning, Catalyst is exactly what is sounds like--it is a platform to turbocharge creativity, a space that welcomes community, and a motivator to let people who live next to each other flourish together.
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?
White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?
No, I do not identify with an underrepresented community
How did you hear about this challenge?
Recommended by others
Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?