Rob Riggen, owner of Flying High Coffee, and Lynda Meeks, founder of the Girls With Wings program, met during SUN ’n FUN to firm up a deal where Flying High Coffee will help fund Girls With Wings scholarships.
Girls With Wings is a non-profit organization designed to inspire girls to achieve their full potential.
Flying High Coffee commits a minimum of 15% of profits back to youth in aviation grant and scholarship programs. “We are actively investigating what the funding needs of grassroots programs are and re-evaluating the profit contribution from sales of coffee and how it is distributed,” notes Riggen.
Flying High Coffee seeks to fund such programs by leveraging the revenue from coffee sales in aviation. According to statistics, 79% of the U.S. population consumes coffee, with 54% drinking more than three cups per day. Riggen estimates that gross coffee sales in aviation is on the order of $200 million annually. “Brisk coffee sales in the aviation industry provide a perfect way for everybody to rally GA and ‘pay it forward’ to a new generation of pilots and aviation consumers,” he said.
Riggen observes that aviation people are already buying and consuming vast quantities of coffee on a regular basis. Flying High Coffee provides a mechanism to direct profits from those coffee sales into aviation programs rather than into the hands of shareholders of large corporations. “We have a choice — we can send the profits from our coffee consumption to non-aviation companies or we can direct profits back into aviation at the grassroots level, funding wonderful not-for-profit programs like Lynda’s,” he said, adding, “there are dozens of fantastic groups executing on the call to rally and grow general aviation. All they need is a steady source of funding. This solution leverages the masses so that everybody can contribute a little and it will add up to a lot.”
The coffee, from Arabica beans, is sold by the pound and can be shipped in whole bean or ground form. Most is single-origin (coming from one plantation or region as opposed to a blend) and organic (grown without chemicals) as well as fair trade. Coffees are available from various regions around the globe, including Hawaiian and Jamaican.