Customized Coffee Blend Supports Hope Forward

Hope Forward is a creative new approach to funding a Hope College education, so what could be more appropriate than finding a creative way of helping make the initiative a reality?

Dan ’09 and Kara Dornbusch ’12 Guy, owners of the Espresso Bay coffee shop in downtown Traverse City, Michigan, have done just that by creating the “Hope Forward Blend.”

“We were in Holland and had the chance to meet with President Scogin in his office,” Dan Guy recalled. “We wanted a way to get involved and help support it. The best way we could do that was to do another type of coffee. All the proceeds from the sales go to the Hope Forward fund.”

It was easy for the Guys to choose to become part of the effort. At the most fundamental level, they owe their relationship to Hope: They met in the summer of 2008 during one of the regional picnics organized by the college for incoming students as Kara was about to begin her freshman year. More, though, they appreciate the education they received and want to provide the same for future generations.

“Hope’s a really special place for both of us,” Dan said. “We really had a positive experience there. It’s just some little way that we can stay connected and help support the future generations hoping to go and get a good Christian education.”

Visiting Espresso Bay is one way to experience the Hope Forward blend, but it’s not the only way. The shop also includes the blend among the variety of coffees that customers may order through its website ( and have shipped to them.

In addition to transforming the future for Hope students through Hope Forward, the college is taking the lead in fostering a larger conversation in higher education about helping students and society by transforming the tuition-driven business model. In the same way, Dan and Kara Guy hope that other alumni and friends of the college might find their own unique ways to support Hope Forward.

“We’re hoping that other alumni might see this article and say, ‘Hey — I can do something little to make a difference’ with the products that they make,” Dan said. “If we all do a little bit to add to the fund, we’ll get to the goal eventually.”

Hope Forward will fund students’ tuition up front and ask them to give back after graduation, enhancing access and enabling students to pursue impact after college rather than chase income to repay student loan debt. For more about the model, please visit: