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Name Change FAQs

Why are you changing your name?

You can find a letter from founders and co-owners, TJ and Caleb, detailing their reasons behind their decision to change the company's name here.

What is your new name?

We do not know what our new name be will. Right now we’re focusing on holding space for this conversation. We plan to roll out the new brand in early 2020.

We invite your thoughts and input as we move forward and begin brainstorming the new name of the company you’ve gotten to know over the last fourteen years.

Is the name change a result of a change in ownership or management?

This name change reflects a desire to hold ourselves accountable. It is not the result of a change in ownership or management. We are still the same people, roasting the same coffee. As a company committed to social justice and the pursuit of a more fair and equitable world, we recognize that this work begins with us.

Does Kickapoo Coffee have any official relationship to the Kickapoo Nation?

No, we do not. And we recognize that’s an issue. When we named our company back in 2005 for the river valley we call home, we were blind to the full implications of that choice. The Kickapoo name is used in our region by numerous local businesses, a township, a school, and a nature preserve, and is part of our hometown vernacular. Tethered to a sense of regional pride, we did not recognize the assumptions embedded in our use of the name. We apologize for our ignorance and to the Kickapoo Nation for our appropriation of their name.

Are you pursuing a relationship with the Kickapoo Nation? 

Since April, we have had the great privilege of meeting with multiple representatives of the Kickapoo Nation. In the spring, we were hosted by the Chairman of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma in McLoud, Oklahoma. And later this summer, we had the opportunity to host the Chairman of the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas here in Viroqua. 

While our team had been in touch with each Kickapoo Tribe prior to our announcement, those face-to-face gatherings allowed us the opportunity to apologize in person and offer our commitment to support the work of restorative justice. We recognize that our continued use of the Kickapoo name perpetuated a harmful myth of Native American erasure, and we are dedicated to raising awareness and supporting the Kickapoo Nation’s efforts to reclaim their historical narratives in our region and beyond.

Did you initiate contact with the Kickapoo Nation?

Yes.

Are you involved in any legal proceedings regarding the name?

No, we are not.

Are you compensating the Kickapoo Nation for your use of the name?

This year, we have set aside $25,000 to support projects and programs that directly support the Kickapoo Nation and combat cultural assumptions that led to our appropriation. 

We recognize that our ignorance regarding both the significance of the Kickapoo name and the impacts of its use was in part due to a lack of diversity in opinion and experience within our professional community.

Our Leadership Team did not come to this decision on their own. We were guided by the work, emotional investment, and education resources offered by others committed to the work of equity and inclusivity. Recognizing these critical contributions, in the coming months we will be sharing a new initiative aimed at amplifying the voices of people of color and other marginalized communities both within our company and in the specialty coffee industry at large. This initiative will become a new focal point of our 5% Giving Program.

I have more questions, where can I get them answered?

Please reach out to our communications team with any and all questions, comments, and feedback. We will continue to add to this page as new FAQs arise.