Quaker City Coffee is betting that former drug dealers will make good entrepreneurs - Generocity Philly

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Sep. 28, 2017 12:08 pm

Quaker City Coffee is betting that former drug dealers will make good entrepreneurs

Christian Dennis is both, which is why he cofounded the company with Federal Donuts' Bobby Logue in 2015: "Just because a guy got a record doesn't mean he can't be acclimated back into the community."

Christian Dennis (second from left) and Quaker City Coffee Company.

(Courtesy photo)

Around the Corner” is a PhillyCAM show that offers local social impact leaders the opportunity to share what impact their work is having on the Philadelphia area.


There’s been a push recently in Philadelphia to make it easier for formerly incarcerated folks to find employment. See: Clean Slate legislation and “ban the box” efforts.

Quaker City Coffee Company is pushing for the same: The profit-sharing coffee roasting business makes it a point to hire returning citizens. Bobby Logue of Federal Donuts fame came to his cofounder Christian Dennis in 2015 with the idea of creating jobs and “trying to change the way people did business with people with records,” Dennis said.

Dennis is one of those people, which is why he understands the value that, say, former drug dealers like himself can bring to a company.

“The guys that we hire, they already know how to distribute product. These are the type of guys we want to bring on,” he said. “Just because a guy got a record doesn’t mean he can’t be acclimated back into the community.”

The company officially launched this past January and currently has one Center City location. Partners include the Mayor’s Office of Reintegration Services and Penn’s Center for Carceral Communities.

Learn more about Quaker City in Dennis’ “Around the Corner” interview.

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Julie Zeglen

Julie Zeglen is the editor of Generocity. Previous to joining the Technically Media team, she served as managing editor of Star Community Newsweekly, a hyperlocal newspaper focused on Philadelphia’s River Wards. The Temple alumna lives in West Philly.

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