Changing the World – One Cup of Coffee at a Time

Denver coffee shop designed by Root Architecture will help feed children in the one of the world’s poorest countries.

Every morning at Root Architecture & Development, we start our day with a cup of Mango Tree Coffee. It’s delicious, but it also helps connect us to a role in a bigger story. That’s because Mango Tree Coffee is changing lives by serving some of the world’s most vulnerable children. At Root, we are privileged to have the unique opportunity this year to build a relationship with Mango Tree Coffee and hopefully play a small part in the work they are doing to make the world a better place by donating our architectural services.

Mango Tree Coffee is a unique social business model.  In 2002, a small group of people from an organization called MANNA Worldwide, began Mango Tree Coffee with the simple vision that something we enjoy every day could be used to make a profound difference by starting in one community and growing to countless others like it around the world.

The coffee company donates 100 percent of its proceeds back to MANNA Worldwide, which feeds hundreds of children every day, educates these same children from kindergarten all the way through high school, and is now graduating more than 50 students each year.

Zeke Freeman, Principal and Lead Architect at Root AD, had the opportunity to go to Guatemala twice last year and visit MANNA Worldwide. The trip was meaningful in a number of ways. Zeke was able to see firsthand the amazing work being done by Manna to help love and provide for children in deep poverty. He was also able to spend a week helping to build a feeding center that is now complete and feeding hundreds of kids each day.

Dulce Galvez, a member of Root Architecture & Development's office in El Salvador, led the design team for Mango Tree Cafe

Dulce Galvez, a member of Root Architecture & Development’s office in El Salvador, led the design team for Mango Tree Cafe

Zeke’s connection to this mission trip with Manna was through friends and family in Texas. God has an amazing way of connecting the dots in our lives and it turned out one of the Vice Presidents of Manna lived in Denver.  Over a cup of coffee in Denver, Zeke got to know Keith O’Neal and Marc Corona and hear their vision to create a self-sustainable business that would support the feeding centers back in Guatemala.

Zeke’s trip to Guatemala was also the catalyst to expand on an existing relationship with one of our remote team members in El Salvador. This in turn, led to the hiring of two more team members and a second Root AD office in El Salvador.

“Guatemala has a lot social issues that need focus, says Dulce Galvez, one of the new architectural associates at Root’s office in El Salvador. “Being from Guatemala and having the opportunity to serve as the lead architect on a project that will operate in the United States and help children from my home country, it’s incredible.”

Dulce worked closely with Manna and the Root Team in Denver to develop the designs and concept for the new coffee shop. Located at the corner of Broadway and Hampden the new coffee shop will feature a mix of modern design and industrial finishes to create a welcoming environment.

Mango Tree Coffee is expected to open for business this spring. We’d like to thank Apex Engineering for donating the structural engineering services to this project. We’d also like to recognize JCAA Consulting for generously discounting the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) engineering. We are grateful for your partnership.

It has always been our desire at Root to create a company that serves a larger purpose and connects with people in a meaningful way.  By helping the Mango Café bring their project to life we are bringing together our staff in EL Salvador and Denver to give back to both communities’ in a truly meaningful way.

To learn more about Mango Tree Coffee or how your morning cup of coffee can provide meals for kids in need, please visit

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