Skip to main content

Feel Good Friday- Grounds&Hounds

Dogs and coffee? Not two things we usually put together but two things we really, really love. So does Jordan Karcher, the founder of Grounds & Hounds, a coffee company that supports no kill rescues around the nation. 20% of all of their proceeds are donated to their rescue partners working to find forever homes to man’s best friends.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

We rang up Jordan to hear more about this feel good company:

Where are you based?

Indiana of all places! I started the company when I was getting my MBA at Notre Dame. We are based in South Bend but we do all of our roasting in Minneapolis and have an office in Los Angeles as well. We are big believers in the saying: start with what you have where you are. It’s nice to have less overhead so we can be more risky.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

We are big fans of companies who are not running to open in New York and Los Angeles. What is your background?

I worked in the wine industry in Sonoma and then I moved to Southern California to work in the spirits industry. I have a weird passion for beverage brands. I can’t explain it. My own personal outlet was always coffee so I spent a lot of time in L.A. during the coffee boom about five years ago. I learned about the supply chain and sourcing. I was 25 at the time and left to get my masters degree.

I loved the learning aspect of the MBA but once I saw the direction it was going (working for a big company) I figured I could make my own impact and wake up much more motivated. I have always been passionate about animals and animal rescue. I am confident I can make more of an impact – beyond just spending time and labor at a shelter.

I was looking at what other organizations were doing and wondered where I could integrate animal welfare into daily life. ‘Coffee and Dog Rescue’ was kind of my ‘aha’ moment. I checked out market sizes, did some surveys and I found a lot of people with a similar mindset.

So we started tweaking the coffee and then focused on the branding. We get a lot of attention for our packaging and design. We integrated our love of animals into that and launched 365 days ago on March 23rd.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Happy one year anniversary! How did you find the organic coffee makers to work with?

My background is not roasting. So I found someone who has done roasting for 25-30 years. We wanted someone to bring some craft into it. As for finding the bean, it’s a lot of meetings and a lot of coffee! I spent a fair amount of time on the green side looking for fair trade and organic. Our key regions are Latin America and South America and we have some from Africa and Indonesia. We are always looking for the best. That is a key thing for us. We are a coffee company but we don’t talk about the coffee a lot. We let the customers talk up the coffee and we focus more on the social angle.

How did you find the partner organizations to work with? I see you have ones from Silicon Valley and Charleston to Chicago and Kansas City.

Those are our flagships but we are growing partnerships every day. We are still small so the logistics are tricky; we try to automate it as much as possible with key cities around the country.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

What’s next?

Keeping our goal on the animal rescue but also learning how to prevent the animals from entering the shelters. We would like to focus on finding placement in forever homes and the core issues for animal overpopulation.

Grounds&Hounds coffee is available on their online store.

Editors' Recommendations

Cator Sparks
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Cator Sparks was the Editor-in-Chief of The Manual from its launch in 2012 until 2018. Previously, Cator was covering…
Is olive oil good for you? All about this healthy fat (and how to use it in your kitchen)
The evidence-based benefits of olive oil
Olive oil poured into a bowl

The rich flavor and golden color of olive oil are just some of the reasons people love it. You might use it as the base for a flavorful salad dressing or to cook your food and coat the pan. Olive oil is a satiating staple of the Mediterranean and ketogenic diets. Most health professionals and advocates believe olive oil is one of the superior healthy fats to bring into your kitchen.  

What is olive oil?
As the name suggests, olive oil is a rich oil derived from olives. Olives are small green or black stone fruits that grow on evergreen olive trees. The olive trees are cultivated in Syria, the Mediterranean region, and other places. 

Read more
Great wine doesn’t have to be super expensive — Pros’ best tips for finding a good, affordable bottle
Want to enjoy great wine on the cheap? Here's how
Wine bottles

You know the saying: The more expensive the wine, the better the wine. Turns out, the old adage isn't always true. Increasingly, there are great finds to be found all over the wine map, touting lower-shelf price tags without sacrificing any quality.

Getting to them, however, is not always a cakewalk. So we picked the brains of some industry types -- sommeliers, in particular. They offered some excellent pointers on finding great wines on the cheap. These tips will allow you to save money while enjoying some standout Sauvignon Blanc or Gamay Noir, arming you with new favorite producers. Who knows, maybe the price point will be so friendly you'll even consider stocking up on a new wine, cellaring a few bottles for years to come.

Read more
What does CBD feel like? All your questions answered
Medical CBD oil on dark background with cannabis leaves

From fitness to anti-anxiety, people like to use CBD or cannabidiol for all sorts of reasons. As one of the chemical in cannabis, CBD has some of the beneficial effects of weeds but without the trippy elements caused by THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. It can be used for everything from relieving pain to relaxing after a long day, and some people find that it helps with conditions like anxiety too.

However, CBD isn't regulated by the FDA, so you need to be careful about where you acquire your CBD and how you use it. The effects can vary considerably from one person to another, and some people can handle higher doses whilst others get the same effects from smaller amounts.

Read more