We had the good fortune of connecting with Donnell Jackson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Donnell, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
As the story for many entrepreneurs goes; I got tired of working in the corporate world. I worked at a large hotel corporation for five years and I needed to get out. It had great benefits but it was taking a toll on me for the worst. I was turning into a person I started to not like. I figured if I could work 14-16 hour work days someone else and not be compensated for it; I might as well do it for myself and do something I actually enjoy.

My mom was a huge part of it as well. After being diagnosed with MS, I wanted to find her more holistic ways to get healthy. Pharmaceuticals didn’t seem to be helping much, it seemed like they actually made her worse. But convincing a woman that has been part of the largest generation indoctrinated with the negative stigma of marijuana made it a challenge. I had to find a way to introduce her to cannabinoids in an acceptable form for her. She is an avid coffee drinker so it made sense to me to find a way to create a CBD infused coffee.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are the first CBD infused coffee roaster and the only cannabis friendly coffee shop in Arizona. In addition to being cannabis friendly, we also are Vegan and (mostly) Organic. We are more than just a coffee shop; our products we carry will be focused on holistic health and wellness. You won’t find high fructose corn syrup or even white sugar in our facility.

I didn’t want to create a business that would continue to contribute to the health issues in the world. Poor diet choices is the number one factors in health deterioration of Americans; yet we continue to get a surplus of processed foods advertised and provided to us. Our pillars are Healing, Growing and Building with that we strive to make this world a better place. Everything we do is based on sustainability and being eco-friendly.

We have our newest shop opening up in Tempe this Summer in a shopping center at the South East corner of Broadway and Rural. However, our flagship store is set to be a mixed use facility featuring retail, food & beverage, a 10,000 sq ft farm, and community event space. Constructed from shipping containers, it is designed to be sustainable, eco-friendly, and recyclable; using solar power and a recycled water system. Within the facility is a coffee shop, dual commercial kitchens for food service and production, 10,000 sq ft farm, vacation room rentals, two retail spaces, and community event space.

Retail and kitchen space will be available on a short- and semi-long, term basis. With this type of rental space, we will provide ample opportunity for small businesses by offering a continuous rotating option. By partnering with local farmers, we plan to have a continuous agricultural program. We will also provide fresh organic produce to the communities we work within as BIPOC communities often don’t have access to fresh, organic produce.

Along with generating opportunity for local businesses to thrive; we will invest in our community by offering classes and education sessions regarding financial literacy, business assistance, agricultural / urban food growing, food health, and naturopathic / holistic health assistance. We will partner with local experts in their respective fields to play an enormous role in our community education seminars.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would definitely search to check out where “Hot Sauce & Pepper”, “Everythang Vegan”, “The Aloha Menu”, “Maya’s Cajun Kitchen” and “Lyfted Kitchen” are all going to be because they would 100% have to try all of these companies.” Pop into “The Giving Tree” to grab some juices at the very least. Stop by “Be More Clean” in South Scottsdale for a cleansing session after some heaving eating. Find a day to end up in Mesa, stop by “The Soul Center” downtown and have some coffee at “Jarrod’s Coffee Shop”. In Downtown Phoenix a must is the “Grassrootz Bookstore” on Washington. Head to “Lacuna Kava Bar” afterwards. Hit the “Gather Shop” at the Churchill. Make it up to “Pacha Mama” for some tacos.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
That’s a hard list to throw out there without thinking over it for a long time. So to keep me safe from missing anyone; I’ll just say my family, friends, customers, wholesale businesses, and constant supporters. You know who you are; and I appreciate you more than you will ever know, and more than I can every show.

Website: www.thecougheeco.com

Instagram: instagram.com/thecougheeco

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-coughee-co

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecougheeco/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-coughee-company-phoenix-2

Image Credits
Dr Chronic Strain

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.