A Q&A with Tattered Beans

Get familiar with our partner, Tattered Beans. The following is an interview with Tattered team member Amanda James.

What is the inspiration behind Tattered Beans?


Our founder is an Air Force veteran, who had dreams of being a lifer. Unfortunately, his dreams were cut short due to injury and he was honorably discharged. That experience has left him with a deep appreciation for all veterans, especially those who had the honor of serving during wartime, as he did not. Tattered Beans and our founder deeply respect the physical and mental strain, time away from home and family, and all the sacrifices our veterans have made. Being a disabled veteran gave our founder firsthand experience of how much red-tape veterans deal with when it comes to the VA. Throughout his entire entrepreneurial career, he has made it a point to give back to veterans through every business that he’s owned. When he was operating cafes, he had a pay it forward program to help feed homeless veterans throughout Central PA. During this time, our founder started a coffee brand. Through the combination of assisting veterans and founding a coffee brand, an idea was born. Statistically, if 64% of Americans drink coffee daily, why not use coffee as a vehicle to get more donations driven directly to veterans? Our 12-ounce retail bag sells for $12, and $4 of that price goes directly to a veteran of the customer’s choice.


What is the mission of Tattered Beans?


The mission of Tattered Beans is straightforward: give back directly to veterans. We literally cut checks to individual veterans every single month. We feel that doing this shows veterans that they are still important, that they are still cared about, that they matter, that their sacrifice is important, and that they made a difference in someone’s life.


When did you start Tattered Beans?


The concept behind Tattered Beans started in 2017. We knew we wanted to donate directly to veterans, and we knew coffee was the way to do it. We just had to finalize the little details, like how and what do we need to get started. Tattered Beans was officially launched in the fourth quarter of 2018 with our two websites: https://tatteredbeans.com and https://vets.tatteredbeans.com.


How does a customer buy your coffee and how does the customer know money is going right to a veteran?


The customer shopping experience is simple, fun, and transparent. First, customers go to https://tatteredbeans.com. Once on the site, the customer chooses a veteran or military branch to shop under. Then, the customer chooses their delicious coffee and checks out. Simple as that! Customers can choose one veteran or military branch or however many they choose to support; the choice is theirs. After they check out, the Tattered Beans team then cuts a check directly to the individual veteran chosen. If the customer does not know an individual veteran and they choose a military branch to shop under instead, the Team then takes that money and gives it to a veteran under that branch who had little or no donations that month.


How do veterans get signed up?


Veterans, or their loved ones, can go to https://vets.tatteredbeans.com and submit all requested information. We have no age requirement; we simply require that the veteran was honorably discharged. We are always adding veterans to our database so that we can assist as many veterans as possible. We did run into one obstacle while we were working on this, but we quickly overcame it. Not all veterans wanted help or wanted to admit they needed help. So, we give veterans the option to choose if they get the money, or if it’s donated to another veteran or organization when submitting a profile. That way, we can help as many veterans as possible.


Is coffee sold online only?


Tattered Beans coffee is available only on our website: https://tatteredbeans.com. We keep sales online to be able to maximize the direct donations to veterans. Online sales allow our overhead costs to be controlled, while providing us a way to track donations to veterans and streamline our processes.


Do you roast your own coffee?


We co-package our coffee. Having partnered with someone who is able to do this allows us to concentrate on pushing our mission to as many people as possible and donate the maximum amount we can directly to veterans. We found a wonderful roaster, after a two year search, that has perfected their roasting and manufacturing process. Our roaster imports beans from Central and South America, then roasts them in Lancaster County, PA. Our coffee is vacuum sealed, but we do recommend keeping it away from light and humidity as much as possible for maximum enjoyment.


Are you a non-profit?


Tattered Beans is a for profit company. We are very transparent that the company operates on $1 per bag of coffee sold. We donate $4 directly to veterans, and the rest of the money covers the cost of manufacturing the coffee, packaging, etc.


What makes Tattered Beans different from other veterans’ organizations out there?


Direct donation to veterans makes Tattered Beans different from other organization. We don’t have to go through all the red tape to donate to veterans; we cut checks directly to them. There are several organizations out there that seem to be or have been caught trying to get rich off the backs of veterans. We don’t want to be part of that group. Tattered Beans is completely transparent with our direct donation to veterans and how much is made off each bag. When we’re on the news, it will be for making a big, positive difference in veterans’ lives.


What is your goal for Tattered Beans?


Tattered Beans has set a goal of selling one million bags of coffee by the end of 2020. One million bags of coffee sold translates to us being able to donate $4 million directly to veterans. Imagine the difference that would make in veterans’ lives. While that is our end goal, our big goal, our daily goal is to make a difference in a veteran’s life. If we can make one single veteran feel that they mattered just a little bit more, then that is success in our book.


Gethen Jenkins covers “Another Lonely Day”

Country singer-songwriter Gethen Jenkins recently released a cover of Ben Harper’s “Another Lonely Day”. The cover concluded a video series of covers including Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man”. Jenkins concluded with “Anther Lonely Day” saying,

“I chose to cover this song because it spoke to my heart when I was going through some tough times last Fall,” states Gethen about the cover. “It’s one of my favorite songs and a pleasure to cover such an accomplished musician like Ben Harper. Thanks to Gibson Guitar for letting me perform it in their space!”

Gethen is gearing up to release his debut album later this year, which was produced by four-time Grammy Award winner Vance Powell (Chris Stapleton, Jack White, Old 97’s and Buddy Guy) for Five Music Company/RED MUSIC. He recently released his music video for his single “Bottle In My Hand” off of his forthcoming full-length. Watch the music video HERE. Gethen is gearing up to release his next track, “Restless Ways” on February 15th.

Gethen recently wrapped a few headline tour dates in Texas and will continue to tour throughout most of 2019. For more information on upcoming tour dates and to purchase tickets to his shows, fans can visit his website HERE.

Gethen Jenkins is a former U.S. Marine who served one tour of duty in Afghanistan. An award-winning singer-songwriter born in Huntington, West Virginia, raised in a rural Indian Village in Alaska, Gethen was brought up on American music, from the purest of bluegrass to whiskey-soaked honkytonk. Gethen has played over 1,000 live shows, sharing the stage with prominent country acts such as The Marshall Tucker Band, Billy Joe Shaver, Wanda Jackson, David Allan Coe, Asleep at the Wheel, Shooter Jennings, Dale Watson, Whitey Morgan and many more. Recently being honored with the Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year awards at 2017’s California Country Awards, he was named a top 10 Country/Americana artist in Los Angeles County by LA Weekly and 2018’s Best Outlaw Country Artist, had songs in rotation at Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country, and just wrapped up a trip to Nashville, working on new music with Vance Powell.

Altissimo! Recordings

The Veteran Sound Project would like to thank our sponsor Altissimo Recordings for their continued support of the publication! Altissimo offers the public the opportunity to access a vast collection of classical military recordings.

Altissimo Recordings distributes catalogs of recordings from the premier military ensembles. These include the work of United States military bands, orchestras, ensembles, and choruses. Altissimo carries records in most military exchanges…as well as Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, CDNow, Walt Disney World Gift Shop, The White House Gift Shop, and the military academies.

Check out Altissimo’s recent release from the U.S. Army Chorus “Songs of the Soldier”

In 2011, The Naxos Music Group acquired Altissimo, enabling the label to become an even larger player in the world of military music. Altissimo’s products can also be found in the music catalogs of Time-Life, heartland, Wireless, America!, Sound Review, Classics, Musical Heritage, Life Dance, Great Music, Serendipity Recordings, Musical Treasurers and more. Additionally, the label licenses military music band recordings for use in media productions, even providing consultation to ensure the best fit for your project.

Providing popular recordings from famous composers such as John Williams and John Phillip Sousa. The Veteran Sound Project encourages readers to explore the Altissimo website here.

Altissimo Recordings is the premier distributor of the U.S. military band’s discography

Kris Kristofferson

 

The singer-songwriter is well known for his long acting and music career. He helped form country supergroup “The Highwaymen” that included Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson. Additionally, Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004. What many don’t know, is his military background before the acting and fame.

 

Kris grew up in a military family with his father in the Army Air Corps (later became the Air Force). He experienced the usual military family expectations of constantly moving around base communities. Later in life, Kris would attend Pomona College graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in literature. Walking in his father’s steps (except joining the regular Army instead) Kristofferson joined the military and soon became a helicopter pilot.

 

Somehow Kristofferson juggled his music ambitions while on active duty, eventually, he decided to leave the Army declining a teaching position at West Point. For the most part, his family outcasted him after this decision. Kris than traveled to Nashville and truly started his music career as mostly a songwriter. After recognition from Johnny Cash, he released his debut album “Me and Bobby McGee” Years later, Kristofferson would have his acting debut in “The Last Movie”.

 

Kristofferson was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1985 and has received dozens of BMI (Broadcast Media Incorporated) awards. In 2011, Kristofferson was awarded the veteran of the year award at the American Veteran Awards (fellow veteran Willie Nelson presented the award). He released his most recent album, The Cedar Creek Sessions in June of 2016.