Rachel Romo, ’03: Coffee with a Cause

Rachel Romo (KAY HINTON)
Rachel Romo (KAY HINTON)


When she was an Ingram Scholar at Vanderbilt, Rachel Romo said she’d like to live in a hut and change the world. She spent as much time as she could in Latin America doing service and mission work, and those experiences instilled a lifelong desire to help others. That’s why she and a group of like-minded friends formed Atlanta-based Cozzee (pronounced like “coffee”), which sells high-end, ethically produced coffee and donates 100 percent of its profits to charity.

“We started the company so that we can give—that’s our desire,” says Romo, who majored in theater at Vanderbilt. “Coffee is something you purchase often. When you reuse and replenish, you’re not only helping our nonprofit partners, you’re also supporting the farmers.”

When Cozzee customers go online to purchase coffee, they’re asked which cause they’d like to support. Seven umbrella areas are available to choose from, including wells and water, shirts and shoes, and health and healing. Every seven weeks Cozzee selects a nonprofit within the category to receive the funds. It’s small-scale for now, but Romo has big plans for Cozzee’s future.

“Our goal is to be the largest online seller of specialty-grade coffee with some flagship retail locations that drive the brand,” Romo says. “Ultimately, we’d love to create communities around the giving areas and maybe even travel to a place and do [some charity projects] together. We want the Cozzee experience to be more than just drinking it in the morning; we really want to support these organizations and causes.”