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Many years ago my mom asked me if I would drive her to Denver to pick up a box of beans for a fund raiser she was heading up with her P.E.O group, a women’s philanthropic organization. I had no idea what we were in for and away we went. We made our way from Berthoud through downtown Denver to an area a few streets away from Coors Field where we pulled into a lot outside of a low key old red brick building that was once a firehouse.

When I stepped in the door I was immediately hit by this wonderful smell of different spices! Where were we? Dried beans don’t smell this good! Yum! I looked around to see a number of women bustling around the sunny warehouse. There were bins of different colored dried beans and spices all around. Some women were filling up slender plastic bags with an assortment of beans and a spice mix while other women placed the finished bags of beans into boxes to fill orders. The bins and the smell of spices were amazing! We loaded up the few boxes we came for and left. I was so intrigued;  the whole ride home my mom told me all about where we went — The Women’s Bean Project — and I have been a fan ever since.

Women's Bean ProjectIn operation since the late eighties, The Women’s Bean Project is a local Denver, CO endeavor that helps women move forward out of poverty and toward self-sufficiency by teaching job readiness and life skills through employing women in this fantastic company that manufactures gourmet food and beautiful handmade jewelry. This non-profit business is a platform, a classroom to teach women who have been through tough times learn job skills to get and keep a job and to gain self-confidence while creating delicious and beautiful items. I love this concept!

My mother’s group picked The Women’s Bean Project to sell for their fundraiser because it is a wonderful local company to support and the products are great. The profits her group receives from the bean sales help fund a scholarship program for young women; it is women helping women.

Learn More Here: http://www.womensbeanproject.com/

Bean Soup MixesIn addition to beans for bean soup mixes, they offer dip mixes, cornbread mixes, cookie, scone and brownie mixes, spice rubs, salsa mixes, fajita marinades as well as organic fair trade coffee and tea. They even have gluten free mixes (which I especially appreciate).

If you live in the area they will be open on Saturday December 22 from 10a.m-2p.m. for Christmas shoppers!

Visit the Women’s Bean Project at:

3201 Curtis Street
Denver, CO 80205

— Kelley Cleveland