“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization, but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” - Gloria Steinem 

In 2020, we established the Torani Café Opportunity Fund to help those struggling to maintain their businesses through cash grants, barista fund donations, product donations to support frontline workers, and more. This International Women’s Day, we celebrate women-owned cafes in our community, two of which received Torani Café Opportunity Fund grants: Esteamed Coffee and Sweet Tea. 
two esteamed coffee employees with wall of torani sauce bottles behind them


Esteamed Coffee, Inc. 

This nonprofit coffee shop and café, founded by Tamara Lapsley and Angie Hudson, based in Cary, NC which creates meaningful jobs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), visual, and communication differences/disabilities. Esteamed Coffee’s mission is to address obstacles for those living with a disability by providing job coaching and a supportive/encouraging environment where their employees and patrons feel they are part of a warm, welcoming community.
two sweet tea employees in front of sweet tea store window


Sweet Tea

Also among some of our favorite women-owned cafes is Sweet Tea—an Arizona-based coffee shop providing a homey space free from any language barriers for the deaf. Marianne White, Owner of Sweet Tea, believes that everyone should have a comfy place to connect within their community, To keep things cozy, find unique vintage goods and adorable local gifts at this family-owned and operated café.  
321 coffee employee looking at camera while making coffee

321 Coffee

CEO and Co-Founder Lindsay Wrege believes that 321 Coffee truly demonstrates what can happen when people work together in pursuit of a mission. This Raleigh-based nonprofit coffee shop and roaster leads the charge and is providing meaningful employment for individuals with IDD.


Celebrating The Women at Torani:

Lisa Lucheta and Melanie Dubecco of Torani
Thank you to our leaders Lisa Lucheta, Chairperson of the Board and Melanie Dulbecco, CEO. Through their leadership we have remained a values-driven, fiercely independent business for almost a century! Unconventional in approach, Melanie, and the team think of Torani as a 96-year-old start-up. Melanie shares that, “the company culture is palpable, with a shared passion around our ‘Flavor for All, Opportunity for All’ purpose.  We are deeply committed to building value and positive impact for all stakeholders including team members, partners, customers and the café community.”
In the future, we hope to work together with allies to address some of the key societal issues facing us today: income inequality, racial injustice, and other factors that deny access to opportunity for all.  We look forward to piloting and generating new stepping-stones of opportunity to change the trajectory for individuals and our society as a whole.