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Mad Priest makes coffee and connects refugees

Mad Priest makes coffee at its Chattanooga location.

The owners of Mad Priest Coffee are world travelers and they say some of the issues they witnessed far from home can be addressed right here.

From the streets of Chattanooga, Michael Rice has a vision for his Coffee Roasting company. "My wife and I were in the coffee trade in India and we unexpectedly came face to face with refugees." So once they moved here, "that pressure of we experienced this now we want to be part of the solution was growing more and more every day."

They named their business Mad Priest and their only employees: refugees. "We thought what is the most empowering way to welcome them into our community and give them an opportunity so they aren't just working a production job the rest of their life."

Chattanooga's Bridge Refugee Services matched them with their first employee, and while the business wants to protect his privacy they are happy to talk about what he brings to work every day. "He's one of most dependable and hardworking employees I've ever worked with."

For the past few months, Mad Priest has turned out 150 pounds of coffee a week and they say that number will only grow.

For more on Mad Priest, click here to visit their Facebook page.

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