It all started with coffee.
At least for Ben Hoyer. On a coffee plantation in Guatemala, he realized that he wanted to use the friendship with a local coffee grower to change his home town. What he wanted to plant in Orlando was more than just a fair trade coffee shop. He wanted to send a message: Don’t be content with your city, with the world, as you find them. Don’t become paralyzed, when the chance for change looks to be pretty small. Out of this idea, Downtown Credo developed in only three years, a really cool place, that not only serves outstanding coffee, but also you get to decide what you want to pay for it. At night, the café might transform to a stage for songwriters or a classroom for design courses. Meaning – Impact – Community. These are the three pillars of Credo’s concept. Besides selling fair traded coffee, Credo supports social entrepreneurships and projects in Orlando and moves people towards discovering their creativity and, thus, building community.
Oh yeah, and Ben founded a church as well. Here, he explains what his vision for Credo is:
Life is worth living. I refuse to merely exist. I pursue a life of meaning and purpose, fulfillment and joy. The world is not yet as it ought to be. Neither is my city. Neither am I. Yet, I reject apathy and despair. I engage the world, my city, and myself to make an impact for good. I am not alone. I press through narcissism, isolation and self-sufficiency striving to live in authentic community.
As many great storytellers, Ben started with his personal story – but moved beyond it. He wanted to tell others about his credo. To help them, he asks them three questions. How has Credo changed you? How do you hope to impact your city? How do you hope to impact the world? The answers he gets look like this: