Using coffee to create change - United Way Alberta Capital Region

Using coffee to create change

July 5, 2021

Dapper Beaver coffee and coffee mug

GUEST BLOG: Introducing Flavours of YEG — a guest blog with our GenNEXT members, highlighting local businesses who continue to Do Local Good during COVID-19.

This blog is written by Radhika Kalra. She is a member of United Way’s GenNEXT, a group of young professionals who have a passion for using their skills and talents to make a difference in the lives of others through United Way.

Edmonton coffee shop makes an impact on the community
When first walking into the cozy shop, you would never know that The Dapper Beaver Coffee Company is much more than simply a place to get caffeinated. This small shop is using coffee to create positive change in our community in more ways than one.

The idea to use coffee for good was first sparked in the owner, Scott Claypool, when he was let go from his accounting job. When searching for his next step, he decided that he wanted to do some local good. He volunteered to become Co-chair of United Way’s GenNEXT committee. As Co-chair, he was able to support multiple impactful community projects.

Through his volunteer work, Scott learned about All in for Youth, a collaboration funded through United Way. This initiative brings together local services in inner-city schools to help address the complex needs children and families experience when living with low income. Graduating from high school can mean the difference between living in poverty and not. This unique program and its approach to wraparound supports helps increase high school completion rates.

After Scott heard stories about local children who don’t have the same opportunities that he had, he was inspired to take action. As someone who has struggled with a mental health disability from a young age, he knows what it feels like to not know where to turn to for help.

Scott Claypool, owner of the Dapper Beaver, sits at a table and drinks coffee
Strong network of small businesses there for support
After multiple years of volunteering and seeing the impact of his work in the community, he decided he wanted to give back in a new way. He started his own business that made investing in his community a core value. Before he even launched his business, Scott joined United Way’s 365 Small Business Circle.

“United Way’s 365 Small Business Circle is an easy way to join a community of businesses that care about Edmonton without breaking the bank. United Way staff are such a supportive group of people that want to see the community thrive. They were willing to help me in the way I needed,” explained Scott.

“Through natural conversations, I was able to meet with contacts that I would never have known about. The experience has been incredible.”

With his business now up and running, he also donates $2 of every bag of coffee sold and his tips to United Way in support of All in for Youth. One of his proudest moments so far has been receiving the Small Business Award at United Way’s Red Tie Gala in recognition of his contributions.

“This was a validation that me and my community of customers are making a difference,” shared Scott.

He hopes that his coffee can continue to be a “conduit for change” in our region. Here at United Way, we know the power of a community coming together. We are confident that the shop’s community of customers can keep changing local lives for the better.