Best Ugly Bagels and Karma Cola join forces

Best Ugly Bagels and Karma Cola have come together to create a do-good bagel dubbed the ‘Karma Bagel’, to raise money for cola families in Sierre Leone.

Launching today, the bagel is made with cherry and cola jam and the hope is it will bring people together across the four Best Ugly Bagel locations in Auckland and Wellington in the same way the cola nut unites those in West Africa.

According to the release, in Sierra Leone, the cola nut is chewed for energy and it’s used in rituals to celebrate birth and marriage and to bring people together.

Every bagel sold will see $1 donated to the Karma Cola Foundation and the ongoing tally will be posted on Karmacola.co.nz.

The two businesses began experimenting a while ago, with Best Ugly Bagel supporting the Karma Cola Foundation by stocking its drink range. But, wanting to do more, Karma Cola co-founder Simon Coley says they decided to combine talent and flavour and create a special bagel.

“We’re into things that taste good and do good and when we get to work with other outfits with great taste like Best Ugly Bagels it doesn’t get much better,” says Coley.

Chef and founder of Best Ugly Bagels Al Brown adds: “It’s great to see companies getting out there and doing genuine good: and we love to be able to support the people that support us.”

“One of our talented team members used cola concentrate for the jam, extracted from West African cola nuts,” says Brown. “Cola is extremely bitter, unlike anything found in New Zealand, and we experimented until we got the right mix of sharp and sweet.”

The Karma Cola Foundation helps cola farmers and their families get back on their feet after a 10-year civil war and recently Ebola. Coley says it’s about fostering independence, not dependence.

“The foundation supports a lot of initiatives like educating children, building infrastructure, future proofing food supplies and helping people set up their own businesses. Ideas that help eight villages become independent through trade rather than dependent on charity.”

The foundation has given over NZD150,000 to the people of Boma and Tiwai communities in Sierra Leone since they’ve been trading.

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