Our Story

“It is a well-provisioned ship, this on which we sail through space.”
– Henry George, 1879

Henry George was a political economist in the late 1800s, and his first and most famous work is “Progress and Poverty”, published in 1879. The book outsold every book but the Bible in the 1890s and was a catalyst for reform during the Progressive Era; its genius was lauded by many of the greatest minds of the 20th century.

George’s philosophy dealt a great deal with land, the value of which he saw as the joint inheritance and responsibility of all members of the community. Unsurprisingly, we find in his writing the origin of the concept of “Spaceship Earth”, a term referring to both the limited resources available on our planet and our responsibility as humans to steward those resources as a crew working together towards the greater good.

 

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Sometime soon after his rise to notoriety, a cigar company branded a line of “working man’s” cigars as “Henry George 5¢ Cigars”. Our roasting company has the great fortune to be located in a 115-year-old building that has on its 2nd floor brick wall an original painted advertisement for these cigars, including the above likeness of Henry George. As such, he is not only the inspiration for our brand philosophy, but also the “patron saint” of our roastery.

“Spaceship Earth turns that same optimistic, wide-eyed gaze back on our own planet, discovering its wonder as if for the first time.”

In the late 1930s, modern science fiction began to flourish. Magazines such as Amazing Stories were gaining popularity, and even the advent of the second World War couldn’t seem to daunt humanity’s enthusiasm for the future. Science fiction authors and illustrators imagined a future where humans visited exotic worlds and met enchanting scenery, vast uncharted territory, intriguing aliens, and endless adventure.

Spaceship Earth Coffee turns that same optimistic, wide-eyed gaze back on our own planet, discovering its wonder as if for the first time. We imagine what our own planet would look like to other star-travelers; how they would view its mountains and rivers and deserts, and the methods they’d use to build a civilization on its shores. We begin settling the Earth afresh, mindful that we have traveled the highways of space vast distances to arrive here, and we plan for our children’s children to have enough of the Earth’s wild beauty left for them to enjoy.

Read more about how this foundation has informed our mission.

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