DENVER (KDVR) — As the conflict in Ukraine continues, a local veteran is doing everything he can to help and support U.S troops overseas.
Richard Turner started an online coffee company that impacts and benefits men and women in Ukraine and first responders. Although Turner is no longer serving the country overseas, he’s now choosing to serve the community with an idea that’s been brewing for a while.
Coffee crosses global lines as the second-most traded commodity in the world after oil and the second-most consumed beverage after water. Now, you can sip your cup of coffee while giving back simultaneously.
“We allow the community to support their local heros,” Turner said.
He’s the founder and CEO of Bulwark Coffee Company. Turner spent fifteen years as a U.S Marine but said when he retired, his life was still missing something, and that something was the call of service. As a former active military member, Turner explained that it’s in his blood to help others and give back.
“A lot of my friends have gotten out and gone into other forms of service within their local community,” Turner said. “Even though they retired from serving their country, they’re serving as a police officer, as a firefighter, as an EMS individual, and we want to continue to support them.”
Ukraine invasion pushes up Bulwark Coffee Company launch
That’s something Turner is doing with the launch of his online coffee company. What makes it so unique is that 100% of all profits go toward law enforcement, fire and EMS, military veterans and disaster relief. Turner said when people donate or purchase coffee online, they will get to decide which charitable effort they donate to, adding that Ukraine falls under disaster relief efforts.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine sped up Turner’s timeline to launch. He founded Bulwark Coffee Company is 2021 with a launch date of Memorial Day 2022, but with the crisis in Ukraine, he decided to push up launch day to April 1 to help those overseas.
“We’ve got special operators, friends of mine, that I served with in the military and they’re over there delivering tactical aid and conducting rescue operations in contested environments,” Turner said. “We wanted to provide them with financial support and the resources for them to be able to do those.”
Local coffee partnerships, global impact
Turner has turned to local roasters for partnerships, including Corvus Coffee Roasters in Littleton and Wander Coffee is Fort Collins, which provide several fresh blends. Kyle Kmetz, owner and roaster of Wander Coffee, told FOX31 that when Turner approached him with the idea, it was a no-brainer.
“It just completely goes with everything that we believe at Wander, especially giving back to the local community,” Kmetz said.
He said Wander Coffee already heavily contributes to homeless charities and is involved with providing fresh coffee for that population. and this is another effort to be present in the community. Turner and other local roasters are now giving back to those who put their lives on the line each day, serving those who serve.
“The most rewarding thing you can do is to serve another human being,” Turner said.
If you’d like to support Turner’s efforts and get involved by donating or purchasing coffee, click here.
Turner said since launching on April 1, the response has been overwhelming, and they’ve already raised well over $1.25 million for troops in Ukraine.