Making A Difference

Cool beans: Unique Heights coffee shop emerges as a finalist for $50,000 award

Unique Heights coffee shop emerges as a finalist for $50,000 award

A 2nd Cup, coffee house, Heights
A 2nd Cup is the only Houston-based organization that is represented in the 30 organizations that make up the Start Something that Matters Challenge.  Photo by Whitney Radley
A 2nd Cup, coffee house, Heights
Photo by Whitney Radley
A 2nd Cup Houston June 2013 Erica Raggett in Austin
Erica Raggett, founder of A 2nd Cup, submitted her idea to Start Something That Matters so that she can help fight human trafficking. Courtesy photo
A 2nd Cup Houston June 2013 logo
A 2nd Cup was created to help raise awareness about human trafficking and hopefully stop it all together.  Courtesy photo
A 2nd Cup, coffee house, Heights
A 2nd Cup, coffee house, Heights
A 2nd Cup Houston June 2013 Erica Raggett in Austin
A 2nd Cup Houston June 2013 logo

A 2nd Cup — the non-profit coffee shop in the Heights CultureMap first wrote about on Aug. 2, 2012 — is about much more than a caffeine boost and good costumer service. 

You might also leave with an education in the horrors of child sex trafficking. 

Erica Raggett first thought of the idea for a self-sustaining coffee shop that helps raise awareness about the human trafficking epidemic in 2011 and by last summer she was in business. Now she's trying to grab an important new boost.

 "This is such a big challenge and I didn't expect to be one of the top 30. It is a huge honor."  

Raggett submitted a proposal to the Start Something That Matters Challenge along with hundreds of other organizations from across the nation. The challenge was created by GOODBlake Mycoskie — the founder of the non-profit TOMS shoes which provides shoes to poor kids — and the Start Something That Matters Foundation. One lucky organization is going to receive $50,000 as the winner of the challenge. 

After a long deliberation by the judges, A 2nd Cup was chosen as one of the 30 finalist to be listed on the online ballot. The coffee shop is the only Houston organization in the final 30.

"This is such a big challenge and I didn't expect to be one of the top 30," Raggett says. "It is a huge honor." 

A 2nd Cup is expanding and is hoping to find a new place for its shop. If the coffee shop wins, the 50 grand will go toward providing three years worth of counseling, mentoring, resume writing services and GED tutoring for child sex trafficking survivors. 

"We know this cause is important to a lot of Houstonians," Raggett says. "We are hoping the Houston community will support us by voting." 

Voting continues through June 14.