In the summer of 2015 Bob Logue, co-founder of Federal Donuts and Bodhi Coffee, met Christian Dennis, a former drug dealer. Logue had been working on a new coffee concept that would employ returning citizens. Dennis had been taking classes at the Community College of Philadelphia Reentry Support Project.
Following a lengthy discussion and several cups of coffee at The Monkey & The Elephant in Philadelphia’s Brewerytown, they decided to become partners in what would ultimately become Quaker City Coffee Company.
Aside from their desire to strengthen their Philadelphia communities, the two have some interesting common history. They were both born in the Frankford section of Philadelphia where they played sports for the same boys’ club, knew the city like the back of their hand, and had both settled and were raising families on the outskirts of Center City Philadelphia.
Logue was born on the west side of the Elevated train tracks in a predominantly white, blue collar section of the neighborhood. He went to a private high school and college. In his twenties he was a bartender in the most popular live music clubs in Center City. In his thirties he started renovating properties and in his forties began developing small businesses in the city.
Dennis was born on the east side of the Elevated train tracks in a predominantly African American blue collar section of the neighborhood. He went to public schools and in his teens started selling drugs on corners in Frankford and Kensington. Eventually he would go to prison for dealing drugs. Upon his release he pursued education and work.
More important than their overlapping histories is their shared vision for a city where the barriers that separate our communities along racial and economic lines are torn down. Ideas were discussed, refined, and a business plan was put in place. Logue tapped his network of professional contacts and found many wonderful partners. Dennis pushed for a business which would include the new employees as team members and helped to craft a vision for a company that seriously considered the needs of its employees outside of the workplace.
Logue, Dennis and all the team members have joined forces to create a company which focuses on job creation for returning citizens with a larger goal in mind. At Quaker City we believe that for each good job created, a family will prosper, a neighborhood will strengthen, and our community will benefit.