San Diego non-profit is using coffee to propel people out of poverty

The San Diego Coffee Training Institute wants to teach local residents coffee and other trade skills

BARRIO LOGAN- The San Diego Coffee Training Institute (SDCTI) is raising necessary funds to begin construction of its training lab and finalize program curriculum. The nonprofit, which is also a certified Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) campus, has been created to help provide various marginalized populations throughout San Diego County with knowledge and specialized skills in the coffee industry to acquire jobs to support themselves.

The San Diego Coffee Training Institute (SDCTI) seeks to empower and elevate vulnerable populations to self sufficiency through the advancement of coffee. By offering certified training programs in specialty coffee, at-risk populations simultaneously acquire marketable skills in a highly-regarded trade that elevate the quality standards and understanding of the industry overall, while also acquiring more confidence, higher self-esteem, and general professional workforce skills that translate easily for careers in any industry or trade. Each individual who completes the training leaves with a certification from the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), the world’s largest coffee trade association formed with the purpose of establishing the benchmarks for excellence in the specialty coffee industry.

SDCTI is partnering with additional local nonprofits including Second Chance, San Diego Workforce Partnership, Monarch School, Father Joe’s, as well as a few others in the works to integrate programs that promote additional knowledge, networking, job placement and other opportunities.

“Specialty coffee in San Diego, as well as around the country is booming,” said Savannah Phillips, founder of SDCTI and Quality Assurance Manager at Cafe Virtuoso. “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to help at-risk populations in the community out of poverty while also further elevating the specialty coffee industry as a whole by bringing in more highly-skilled certified workers.”

SDCTI will be hosting a kickoff party open to the public to celebrate and to raise funds. It will include food, drinks, music, raffle prizes, a silent auction, coffee presentations, latte art classes and more. Food, drinks and prizes will be donated by Cucina Urbana, Cafe Gratitude, Olive Cafe, Cafe Virtuoso, Cappuccine, and several local craft breweries and wineries. The event will take place on Thursday, March 23 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Cafe Virtuoso, 1616 National Avenue, San Diego.

Tickets are available in advance at the following link for $20:, and also at the door for $25.