White Cane Coffee- Changing the World with Coffee and Love

Biased practices based on discrimination associated with factors like gender, sexual orientation, race, disability, and more, have always existed in the process of recruitment. While some of these have been taken care of, others, like disability, tend to persist. Thus, one of the most disheartening facts about the corporate world is associated with the unwillingness of employers to offer jobs to the disabled – more than double the people having a disability are unemployed as compared to those without. Whether it is hearing, vision, or learning disability, people with impairments find it very difficult to find job acceptances. And in today’s world, how can someone survive without earning?

As a matter of fact, numerous elements drive this disparity, such as lesser disabled individuals graduating and prejudiced hiring procedures. Not to mention, the pandemic worsened the gap as the disabled got lesser options for working from home or remote and flexible jobs. One of the critical examples of such discrimination is that of a girl named Erin Willman. A 22-year-old with a vision impairment and autism, Willman was denied a job everywhere due to her disability. She explained, “People always see the glasses and the cane and immediately think what I’m unable to do.”
Considering the fact that a majority of people with a disability experience the same, Willman decided to start a business that employs individuals like her. Contradictory to other employers, she says, “Here at White Cane, when it comes to disabilities, we don’t just see the disability – we see what people are capable of.” Thus, primarily focused on changing the world one cup of coffee at a time, the idea behind the existence of White Cane Coffee is Erin’s inspiration from her father. She tells, “Ever since I was a little kid, my dad has told me to change the world. He has always said as long as you can change one person’s life, you can change the world.” And gladly, she believes her business is changing plenty of lives.

Erin Willman: Changing the Business of Business

Erin does not only serve delicious coffee but also acts as a role model to several people globally. Whether it’s a disabled person tired of the discrimination against them regarding employment or it is a woman who has given up on her dream business, Erin has taught people to fight against the odds and make things work in their favor.

Having lost her vision at the age of 15, Erin founded White Cane Coffee with the aid of her mother Vicki Willman, and her father Bob Willman to provide hope, motivation, and employment to the disabled and blind. Still surprised to land her first job as the CEO of her own company after multiple rejections, she says, “I’m still kind of processing it. It’s very surreal. We are a small business in a small town and to be recognized globally is, it’s cool in its own way because big things don’t just have to come from big places. It can come from small companies. Sometimes the smaller voices can make the larger impact.”

What sets Erin apart from other business owners is the fact that establishing the company is not the only thing she has done to normalize the disabled in the workplace. Her other contributions include working with Perkin’s School, Helen Keller Institute, and organizations with similar motives.

Serving the Customers

The main storefront of White Cane Coffee is situated in the small, adorable town of Warren in Pennsylvania. Here, Willman sells a variety of cold brew blends, coffee whole beans, compostable separate cups, and ground. In fact, she has an assortment of coffee roasts for the enjoyment of her customers, which include Breakfast Blend, French Roast, Dark Roast, High Octane, Columbian Supremo Decaf, Donut Shop, and Columbian Supremo.

Erin is highly dedicated to ensuring that her customers get that perfect cup of coffee every morning. For the same, she even offers the choice of a monthly subscription, based on which people would get coffee delivered to their doorstep. And all this has been possible because of her will to change the world.

What’s more, the coffee bags and boxes have Braille on them, which is a clear indication of Erin backing the blind community. She says coffee is “something that is so ingrained into our culture that it almost seemed like a no-brainer to have coffee be the thing that links disabled people with abled people.”

The Impact of White Cane Coffee

White Cane Coffee has a clear societal impact – it is helping standardize the disabled in companies. Further, by bringing the disabled and the abled together, it gives out the message of equality between the two. This also helps the latter better understand the plight of people with disabilities, further promoting employment of the impaired at large.

Also, by employing the blind and disabled at her company, she is giving a loud, clear message to the world regarding the highest potential of the disabled. In fact, another significant impact of the establishment is associated with the environment – all the coffee is certified organic and the environmentally-conscious K-cup is entirely compostable.

Considering the extent to which Erin is taking care of the environment while selling coffee, it is no surprise that she has been awarded the Global CEO Excellence Award for Best Organic Coffee Manufacturing CEO (USA) by CEO Monthly.

The Future of White Cane Coffee

With the rising popularity of the company, White Cane Coffee is expanding massively. It ships coffee boxes to people on a global scale but hopes to further increase the number of countries. This will not only further aid in spreading the message but also allow people to wake up to an incredible cup of coffee. So, it’s a win-win for everyone.
Description: White Cane Coffee is a coffee manufacturer that ships organic coffee worldwide. The key motive behind the company is to normalize the blind and the disabled in the workplace.
Company Name: White Cane Coffee
Founding Year: 2019
Office Location: The main storefront of White Cane Coffee is in Warren, Pennsylvania.
Official Website of the company: https://whitecanecoffee.com
Name of the Featured Leader: Erin Willman
Designation of the Leader: CEO
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