Hometown Hero: Andrew Lentz

Anyone meeting Andrew Lentz for the first time immediately senses that he is a someone who has a great measure of warmth and depth.

He describes himself this way: “I have always struggled to find what I want to do and where I think my purpose is in life. In the past, I have struggled a lot with just not knowing where to go, not knowing how I matter, how I can make an impact in the world. In the past couple of years, working with more people and engaging in a deeper conversation with people has helped me to forge a path where I know that people are what matters in the world and that those connections matter deeply.”

When discussing his work life he says, “My main role is as the Wholesale Manger at Yield Coffee Roasters, which is a bit of an all-encompassing position right now since we’re a smaller team. But my primary role is working with our wholesale clients making sure that they have the resources they need to be a successful shop through the different coffees we provide, trainings, trying to provide value as a roaster. We find that a lot of the coffee roaster to shop transactions are just transactions: business transactional. We strive to take it to the next level and make is more relational. That’s why we refer to our coffee as relational coffee. We’re trying to build that kind of relationship with our customers as well as with our farmers.”

He continues, “Another part of my job is actually roasting and packaging the coffee beans, so I do get to do some hands on production and serving of coffee as well. I really enjoy that craft. It’s good for me to work with my hands. I’ve always been curious about how things work, how they go together, so learning that craft is ever changing and evolving.”

When asked about his faith journey, Andrew says, “For me, bringing my faith to work, I have been blessed at Yield to be surrounded by a great group of people. What we’re really striving to do is create positive change in other peoples’ lives. So we view coffee as a vessel to do that. It allows us to interact with shops, it allows us to buy coffee from another country and support those farmers. But it’s not just about the coffee. It’s about the relationship and bringing people together and having a deeper conversation, whether it’s about faith or about mental illness.

I’ve had a lot of crazy interactions in the past year with people I’ve met, and all the sudden, we’re telling each other everything. Going back into where faith comes into play, we truly believe in a tangible effect. So that goes in some financial sacrifices that we make that we don’t believe are sacrifices. We are truly pouring into the farmers and paying them an extra amount more than most people would. We give back to the communities that we work in as well. We were able to partner with Amigos for Christ to build 15 modern bathrooms in Nicaragua. That’s changing from essentially an outhouse to a modern bathroom with running water and flushing toilets. That’s been a game changer there.”

He says, “One of the farmers that we work with, Diego, and his wife, Gloria, farm in Nicaragua. We’ve been working with them for four or five years, ever since we started. With the profits they have made they have been able to plant 40 churches. For us, we feel privileged to live in the country that we do and not have to go through daily struggles or civil war amongst our own people as many others are going through. Those are some of the tangible ways we bring our care for people and our love for people and wanting to welcome everyone to a seat at the table and drink a cup of coffee.” #AWOPHometownHero
To learn more about Yield Coffee Roasters, visit their website at www.yieldcoffee.com