In the Netherlands in our own small town of Ulft there is a foundation called Stichting Oersterk. Here they use our W6A Coffee Roaster for a special purpose: as daytime activity for young disabled adults. We interviewed co-founder Michel Vet to hear more about their story.
Stichting Oersterk was founded by very personal reasons. Co-founder Michel Vet has a disabled son and was looking for a useful way for him to spend his days. He did not want to sent him to a large-scaled facility, so decided to found one himself together with two partners. Surfing the internet they discovered the meaningful activity of roasting coffee. “There are a lot of different tasks involved with coffee roasting that can be executed very well by people with special needs and it’s an original solution as well,” Michel tells us. So Michel and his two partners decided to found Oersterk in September 2014 and make coffee roasting the daytime activity for their clients.
Learning the craft of coffee roasting
Coffee roasting was an entirely new world to them, so some months before the foundation they went looking for a high quality roaster. It is quite a coincidence that we are almost neighbours in the same town. After an orientation period Stichting Oersterk decided to choose one of our roasters and Michel Vet consulted with Wilfred Giesen about the settings of the coffee roaster.
“We were able to test roast on the spot in the Giesen factory on a 25 kg roaster. This gave us the opportunity to get acquainted with the settings of the roaster and to fill our new shop with fresh roasted coffee from the start.”
Roasting coffee as meaningful work
“Our disabled clients perform many tasks during the day. They prepare the green beans into portions of 6 kgs so we are able to roast full batches. They assist with the coffee roasting process and the transportation within our premises. Furthermore they weigh, pack, seal and label the coffee.
We now have 7 young adults from 18+ years working for us with disabilities varying from deafness, autism and certain physical disabilities. For our clients it is very rewarding work. When they hear for example that people tried our coffee and liked it. These compliments make them grow.”
The coffee of Oersterk
The coffee of Oersterk is burned with a medium roast. They deliver to local supermarkets where the coffee is being served and sold. Oersterk is situated next to a renovated factory called De Dru Cultuurfabriek where several companies and initiatives are located. Very recently they became the supplier of the coffee for large events that are organised there. They are dependant on companies buying their coffee to have enough work for they clients.
“It is not our aim to make a large profit, but we do want to sell a lot of coffee. Because the more coffee we sell, the more clients we can help with a purposeful daytime activity”
Why Giesen Coffee Roasters?
It is now 1,5 years ago that Stichting Oersterk purchased a W6A Coffee Roaster and we asked Michel Vet why he has chosen our roaster.
We chose Giesen Coffee Roasters because they make good coffee roasters and of course in our case it is very convenient that they are so close. When a problem should occur they are just around the corner. We have a good experience with Giesen and they accompanied us very well. They thought along and really helped us to master the settings so we can now roast coffee quite easily together with our clients and maintain a constant quality.“