Caffeine Crawl combines coffee, cycling and international philanthropy

Image courtesy of Vortex Doughnuts

Vortex Doughnuts will host its second Caffeine Crawl on Saturday, June 25.  The event is built around a group bicycle ride that starts at Vortex Doughnuts at 1 p.m. with stops at coffee purveyors throughout the South Slope, downtown and West Asheville.

Eli Masem, front-of-house manager for Vortex, says the ride is intended to “highlight the vibrancy of Asheville’s coffee and bicycle scene while helping international nonprofit The Chain Collaborative on its school-building project in Uganda.”

The Chain Collaborative is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that partners with local groups, like-minded organizations and members of the coffee industry to contribute to sustainable development in the coffee lands.

Nyamigoye Coffee Farmers Group, a partner organization with The Chain Collaborative, is a collective of over 250 coffee farmers in Nyamigoye Parish, Southwestern Uganda. The central tenets and goals of NCFG are to promote better farming practices, enhance the quality of member farms’ coffee, sell coffee collectively to reach more markets and create community projects to contribute to member families’ livelihoods.

In an effort to address the need for both quality education for farmers’ children and capacity-building opportunities for NCFG members, The Chain Collaborative is working alongside NCFG to build the Karama Education Center. center will double as a primary school and adult training program for farming and business practices.

The Caffeine Crawl facilitates giving toward the construction of the Karama Education Center through contributions made by the participating locations as well as through the support of customers. Donation jars with information on the project will be available at each stop.

Participating stops include Vortex Doughnuts, High Five Coffee on Rankin Avenue, Trade and Lore, Izzy’s Coffee House in West Asheville, O.W.L. Bakery and Find Your Line Bike Shop.

Participants will receive a passport, which they can get stamped at each location. The Caffeine Crawl will culminate with beer, music and prizes as riders converge at the last stop, which is the outdoor seating area for Vortex Doughnuts and Catawba Brewing on Banks Street. Prizes will include schwag from Vortex Doughnuts, 1000 Faces Coffee, Catawba Brewing, Barista Magazine and Find Your Line Bicycles.

While the group ride is suggested as the primary means of completing the Caffeine Crawl, participants can also start from Vortex Doughnuts and set their own pace and route. For details, check the Caffeine Crawl’s Facebook event page.


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About Josh O'Conner
Josh O’Conner is an urban/land use planner with a passion for urban agriculture. He can be reached at @kalepiracy or @joshoconner on Twitter or e-mailed at

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