Q&A with Saint Basil Coffee’s President
Learn more about the foundation of Saint Basil Coffee from John Howard, president of the board and longtime volunteer.
How did you learn about Saint Basil Coffee and what inspired you and your wife Linda to be a part of it?
When Jim and Mary Boyles first founded Saint Basil Coffee in early 2005, they placed a request in the St. Anne Catholic Church bulletin for help to sell Saint Basil coffee at St. Anne. Their request piqued our interest, and we met with them.
What prompted us to say “yes” was that we would have the opportunity to help the Basilian missions, particularly in Colombia, to serve and help those most in need. Since moving to Houston, we had a very good relationship with several of the Basilian priests and a strong connection with the priests of the Congregation of St Basil as a whole. At the same time, Pope John Paul II had issued his “Call to Social Justice,” that is, the call “to help those most in need.” Pope John Paul ll’s Call to Social Justice and the work of the Basilian Missions fit hand in hand.
What do you enjoy most about helping Saint Basil Coffee and why?
First and foremost, we value that we are making a difference to those served by the Basilian and other select Catholic missions that we support.
Secondly, we enjoy working with the folks who are part of the team that sells Saint Basil coffee at St. Anne Catholic Community. We are particularly proud of the younger team members, for their enthusiasm and desire to help others.
We also appreciate our customers for their loyal support and being coministers with us to help those most in need.
Finally, the coffee. Not only is it fair trade coffee, which enables small, independent coffee growers to stay in business and continue to support their families, it also has great flavor and is as fresh as you can get, roasted and packaged only after an order is in hand.
We are also very proud, and excited, that we have reached more than $500,000 in contributions to the Basilian missions and other select Catholic missions. This is done by an all-volunteer group of 10-12 people.
If you could tell people one thing about Saint Basil Coffee, what would it be?
It is more than just about the coffee—it is about social justice—providing those most in need the opportunity and tools to rise out of poverty, through education, job skills training and humanitarian aid and support!
What ways do you think others could support the work Saint Basil Coffee does?
Individuals can support those we serve by purchasing Saint Basil coffee on a regular and on-going basis, whether as an individual, a parish or a business. An increase in sales directly increases the contributions we are able to make to the Basilian and other Catholic missions, and in turn, helps those most in need.
What’s your favorite blend of Saint Basil Coffee?
Colombian Supremo. I really enjoy its robust taste and flavor—it’s a great way to start the day.