While visiting Ethiopia as an ambassador for World Vision Hugh Jackman had the opportunity to meet a coffee farmer named Dukale. The time spent with Dukale, his family and community, enabled Hugh to see the benfits that the aid from World Vision provided to this group. Not only was Dukale able to provide for his family, but he was able to expand enough to provide work for others in the community and start a cafe serving his coffee. The coffee farm was also utilizing a new method of using manure as a source to provide methane to the homes, enabling the families to avoid the many negative aspects of using a fire as a source of heat including health risks due to the smoke.
The aid from World Vision - supporting a business and enabling it to grow and expand while improving the quality of life – was not a one time lump sum of money, but a resource toward a brighter, more productive future.
Hugh left Dukale promising to find a way to continue the dream of success and expansion for his friend.
Hugh Jackman finds inspiration with Ethiopian coffee farmers. Launches charity brand, Laughing Man
Fast forward a few years, add the inspiration of Paul Newman and AE Hotchner’s Newman’s Own using fine product and public profile to do good as detailed in Pursuit of the Common Good. The final piece of serendipity, a meeting with friends Barry & David Steingard who mention they are interested in re-entering the coffee business and you have the birth of Laughing Man: coffee, tea, chocolate and fine merchandise.
The motto for Laughing Man is “all be happy”, taken from the ancient Sanskrit Lokah Blessing “ ”May all beings everywhere be happy and free.” All profits from Laughing Man will be donated to charity – starting with World Vision and Harlem Village Academies and expanding to opportunities of education and growth for businesses and communities. This “seeding” of minds and businesses not only provides the immediate resources needed, but hope for the future as those benefiting from these opportunities grows exponentially. Opportunity to learn, grow and work is without a doubt a path to happiness and freedom.
Now onto the most important part – is it any good?? Well this morning I brewed my first pot of 184 Home Blend, ground from whole beans, and it was delicious. I am looking forward to visiting the Laughing Man Marketplace at 184 Duane Street in Tribeca soon to sample the other offerings and hopefully educate myself and expand my caffeinated horizons. My husband Anthony had the hot chocolate and enjoyed the rich, dark flavor. Definitely not the after school sweet powder from your childhood! I am waiting for my daughter Katie, the tea aficionado, to weigh in on the various teas offered. Love my tee shirt, and most importantly love that it all is part of doing good.
I aspire to be a philanthropist, to save the world one amoeba at a time. For now I am incredibly happy to find ways to contribute to businesses already in motion achieving those goals. You can do this too - visit Laughing Man online at www.livelaughingman.com, or visit the Laughing Man Marketplace in person at 184 Duane Street, New York – just make sure you visit and do good!