We've seen some really cool coffee-based businesses pop up around the internet lately, and love the ingenuity that these "coffee-prenuers" are showing when it comes to solving real problems.
Since the World Series just started, it's only fair to talk about one of the unfortunate traditions in baseball: chewing tobacco. Dipping and chewing tobacco has always been a part of the game, but following the untimely death of Tony Gwynn and his belief that tobacco led to his mouth cancer along with Curt Schilling's battle with cancer, more and more big leaguers are questioning and quitting their tobacco habits.
With tobacco so ingrained in the sport of baseball, many players often find it hard to kick the habit cold turkey. Some people have success with sunflower seeds or gum, but others still struggle to beat the addiction. Luckily, a few smart former high-level baseball players came up with a solution to help support those looking to quit chewing tobacco and developed Grinds, which are small pouches filled with flavored coffee grinds that players can use in place of dipping tobacco. The company has seen some great success thus far, appearing on ABC's Shark Tank and receiving tons of praise from current and former major league players, including the manager of the San Francisco Giants, Bruce Bochy. Using coffee to help kick a dangerous addiction is a cause we can get behind, and we look forward to seeing what the guys at Grinds can do as they continue to grow their business.
Another company that uses coffee in an interesting way is Coffee Coals, an Indiana-based producer of coffee briquettes that can be used in place of traditional charcoal in your grill. The idea was developed by a recent Purdue grad (Boiler Up!) who learned how to compress agricultural waste material into burnable briquettes while on an engineering service trip in Guatemala.
Since returning to the states and developing his product, founder Rich Bruins has worked closely with engineering teams at Purdue to fine tune the development and composition of his product into a viable and scalable business. Bruins recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund a move into a larger production facility and we'll be rooting for him to hit his goal! Check out the Kickstarter video below: