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27 September, 2023

Solstice Coffee: Indigenous Innovation in Canadian Coffee

The Des Nedhe Group and Road Coffee have partnered to launch Solstice Coffee, a venture that is changing the Canadian coffee scene. Solstice Coffee is proud to be the first coffee company in Canada to establish a fully Indigenous supply chain, connecting Indigenous growers to roasters.

Alisha Esmail, the founder of Road Coffee, is driven by a desire to make positive change and address inequalities, particularly in developing nations. As she embarked on her journey in the coffee industry, she saw an opportunity to make a lasting impact.

While the concept of fair trade has been a staple in supporting marginalized communities globally, Solstice Coffee takes it a step further, truly empowering Indigenous coffee producers. This collaboration will reshape the coffee production landscape with a focus on sustainability and Indigenous-to-Indigenous partnerships.

Esmail’s commitment to sustainable practices and social justice led her to the idea of supporting a fully Indigenous supply chain. “I couldn’t reconcile the idea that most of the coffee farmers globally who produce our morning cup of coffee still don’t have access to basic needs and remain in unsustainable supply chains dictating people’s way of life. As a Canadian business owner, I knew I had the power to create a solution that empowers Indigenous entrepreneurs from the farm to cup.

By partnering with Des Nedhe, Esmail gained access to Indigenous-owned land just outside Saskatoon to expand her operations. As the economic development corporation of the English River First Nation, Des Nedhe is a known leader in Indigenous entrepreneurship.

Sean Willy, CEO of Des Nedhe Group, expresses his excitement about this venture, saying, “We are pleased to collaborate with Alisha. She brings a wealth of business experience and a talent for finding innovative solutions. Alisha sees the value in working with Indigenous businesses; together we share a mutual respect and are eager to see each other grow while fostering sustainable and impactful change.


Solstice Coffee is Canada’s first fully Indigenous coffee company, dedicated to celebrating Indigenous cultures and fostering global equity and empowerment. From Indigenous farmed to Indigenous roasted, our coffee embodies the spirit of renewal and positive change, supporting the growth and prosperity of Indigenous communities.

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Amy Janzen