Ronald Contreras and Kelly McMillan pose for a photo with packages of their coffee from White Frog Cafe. The two started the coffee company this summer, and are holding a fundraiser for a local woman suffering from cancer. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Sylvan Lake coffee company fundraising for local woman with cancer

White Frog Cafe is holding a fundraiser for Susan O’Connor, who has stage four bone cancer

One of Sylvan Lake’s newest businesses says giving back to the community is an important part of the business model.

White Frog Cafe, run by Sylvan Lake husband-and-wife duo Ronald Contreras and Kelly McMillan, has been up and running in Sylvan Lake for just a few short months and is already onto its second fundraiser.

Contreras and McMillan ran a fundraiser this summer for Blake Bellavance, a three-year-old with a brain tumour.

The fundraiser donated $4 from every bag of coffee sold to the Bellavance family. Now they are doing the same to help another family in need.

READ MORE: Sylvan Lake rallies around 3-year-old boy with brain tumour

Susan O’Connor has been diagnosed with stage four bone cancer and is in great need.

McMillan says they have never met, but recognized the difficult time O’Connor is going through.

“She is just in need. What she is going through has been tremendously difficult and has had an impact on her and her family,” McMillan said. “She isn’t able to work anymore and has to sell her home.”

Contreras says helping those in need is the right thing to do no matter what.

“I am lucky, I have a home and a beautiful family and we are comfortable. We are able to do this for someone else… because we can means we should,” Contreras said.

McMillan and Contreras say they will use White Frog Cafe to help their local community as much as possible.

Individual fundraisers, like the one for O’Connor, will be set up as the need is presented. However, the duo is also looking to lend a hand to local schools, groups or organizations looking for fundraising opportunities.

READ MORE: Woman diagnosed with cancer frustrated with wait times

McMillan a fundraiser for schools and organizations will work much the same as a cookie dough or chocolate bar fundraiser. Order forms will be given out and at the end date payment will be collected before the coffee order is filled roughly a week later.

“We’ve got a few schools and groups lined up already,” said McMillan. “They’ll use the money raised for whatever is the greatest need.”

The fundraiser for O’Connor works much the same way. Orders can be placed through White Frog Cafe directly.

Orders can be placed for the next few weeks. McMillan says the orders for the fundraiser will close on Thanksgiving.

“This is how we want to run our business, it is important to me,” said Contreras.

White Frog Cafe will be holding a one-day sale outside of the Sylvan Lake Sobeys from 1-6 p.m. on Oct. 12, with the proceeds going to the fundraiser for O’Connor.

The coffee comes from a plantation in Colombia where Contreras grew up, and much of his family still lives. He says the land was given to him as part of an inheritance, and the couple have since bought additional land to expand their plants.

The beans, after harvesting and exporting to Canada, is roasted in Calgary before being packaged by Contreras and McMillan.

Contreras says White Frog Cafe’s coffee has been grade at 85 points out of 100, which ranks as premium coffee.

“Our coffee is very smooth, that is how I would describe it, but as well as very powerful,” Contreras said, adding “after you drink it you feel the kick in your mouth.”

Outside of the fundraising efforts, White Frog Cafe, named after a small white frog that lives at the plantation and cafe being the Spanish word for coffee, can be purchased at various location in Sylvan Lake including Made with Love, Natural Solutions and El Amor Cafe where you can also purchase a brewed cup.

More information about White Frog Cafe can be found on Facebook @whitefrogcafecanada.

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