The GROSCHE story: A humble housewares company with heart.
The GROSCHE story started in 2006 in Helmi and Mehreen’s laundry room after the kids went to sleep. They packed tins of loose leaf tea and sold them door to door on nights and weekends. It was, by all accounts, a labour of love.
From the get-go, Helmi and Mehreen’s intention was clear: Create a different kind of business. One that leaves only an incredibly huge legacy of good. They wanted to make a difference. So they did. They created a social enterprise, rooted in giving back. It started with tea. Then teapots that they engineered themselves to compliment their popular teas and distributed from their garage. Word spread. GROSCHE grew. Coffee makers! Water infusers! Glassware!
Every product sold funded social causes, right from the start.
The team expanded. Like minded social entrepreneurs and change agents joined the GROSCHE family and our little company with heart became an international housewares brand. Today, you’ll find GROSCHE on the shelves of major retailers and our water filters on the ground in South Sudan, India, the Philippines, and Malawi. It amazes us that our little idea for a company that gives back would catch on like wildfire. It did. And we’re grateful. And so are our friends in Africa and Asia who drink safe water every day and can work to better their lives, thanks to you.
It’s simple: We sell good products that do good.
We manufacture a premium line of craft brewing accessories for coffee, tea, and water infusion that make life in kitchens the world over blissful while simultaneously funding safe water projects in third world countries. We are a family-run and majority-woman-owned business based in Canada. And we base our every day business on these four principles:
We answer to our stakeholders not just our shareholders. We believe our local communities, global neighbours, and future generations all have a right to know what we’re up to and how we’re going to use our company to make this world better. So we share with them. Always.
2. ZERO NET-IMPACT
We aim not only to achieve a zero net impact on our environment but also to go beyond and fund local and global restorative efforts. Because the health of this planet matters. A lot.
3. CONSTANT BETTERMENT
It’s our belief that better companies = better products. We care immensely about giving back, providing safe water, and supporting our community. We also care about providing our customers with the very best tea, water, and coffee products around.
4. PURPOSE BEFORE PROFIT
Money is nice, sure. But changing the world is way nicer. Our goal is not to maximize profits (yawn!), it’s to maximize joy in the lives of others.
Doing What We Love!
How one cup fills another
THE GROSCHE SAFE WATER STORY
Water is a necessity of life. With a bio-sand filter from the GROSCHE Safe Water Project, poor communities can rise out of poverty and prosper—health-wise, economically, and emotionally.
B Corps are business revolutionaries, in our opinion. And we’re honoured to be one of them. We believe that being a ‘good business’ can actually also be ‘good for business’. When you buy organic you’re helping your body. When you buy “Bcorp”, you’re helping the world.
BEST FOR THE WORLD
Arguably B corps are the best run businesses in the world. When B Corp gives you their highest honor and tell you that you are a B Corp that is “Best for the World”, it is truly humbling. We have been named to the B Corp 2016-2017 Best for the World awards recipient list, and are so grateful for their recognition.
LIVING WAGE CHAMPION
We partnered with Living Wage Waterloo Region in 2014 to champion our commitment to making lives better. The province’s minimum wage is $11.40; we won’t pay anyone less than $16.05/hour. We are also partners with Living Wage Guelph Wellington, where the Living wage is $16.50 an hour.
Four times a year, we close down the shop and our entire team volunteers in our local community wherever we feel it’s needed most. From building homes with Habitat for Humanity to growing organic food for the local food bank, these are some of our most rewarding and fun days at work. Check out some photo albums on our Facebook page.
5,000 TREES FOR HAITI
We’re proud partners of Trees for the Future, an organization with a simple and impactful mission: To plant trees to change the world. With them we have planted 5,000 trees in Haiti. Reforestation provides the Haitian people with food chain self-sufficiency and community development. Something every community deserves.
The retail business can be devastating to the planet. So we work vigilantly with our suppliers to ensure all of our packaging includes at least 50% recycled paper and that all shipping materials, including master cartons and pallets, are reused 100% of the time.
We have set ourselves a goal to divert over 80% of our waste from our office and warehouse away from landfills. By championing and initiating a recycling and composting program for our office and warehouse complex, we have been able to divert close to 75% of our waste away from landfills already. As soon as we hit our goal, you can bet we will raise it, again.
CARBON NET NEGATIVE
We are a carbon neutral operation and have been since 2012. As well, we conduct energy audits in our facility, implemented a recycling and composting program in our building, and partnered with CarbonFund.org to offset our emissions through active reforestation projects. Also, we use natural ventilation in our office, and have reduced our footprint significantly. Our warehouse and head office footprint is less than that of a single family household now. When we include our offsets, our net carbon footprint is actually negative, and getting better and better each year.
Since we have reduced the footprint of our office spaces so much, the majority of our footprint is in the import and transportation of our goods into our warehouses in Canada, the USA, and Europe.
So -188 Tons is our net Carbon footprint for 2016. While we aim to be carbon neutral, our reductions in our carbon footprint are so much, and our offsets are so significant, that we are actually net carbon negative. So, our carbon account of major sources is looking better and better each year. The best footprint is perhaps no footprint. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
We use Canada’s leading green energy provider, Bullfrog Power, to power our office and warehouse facilities. The goal we all strive for: a 100% renewable-and clean energy powered future, for all.
SUDANESE BANANA PLANTATION CO-OP
In 2016, we fully funded a banana plantation co-operative project in South Sudan. We sent Chris from our team to educate and train locals how to plant and tend trees. Chris spent 6 months teaching this community not only how to care for the plantation but also turn it into a source of income when the 400+ trees mature in 2017.