Unlocking Human Potential

Helping Parolees Reintegrate, with New Skills and New Pride




Drinking In Success

A Bold Idea
St. Leonard’s Society of Toronto came up with the idea of helping former prisoners find jobs and reintegrate into society by training them in the gourmet coffee roasting business in partnership with Reunion Island Coffee.
However, the idea of folks who’ve been behind bars making and selling anything to the public was not without its challenges. How to make it work?
St. Leonard’s E.D. Sonya Spencer invited GenesisXD and strategy partner Harry Cornelius to create a brand, define a business model and launch the whole thing.
The Acid Test
The brand had to satisfy the needs of two tough customers: a sceptical, wary public and the former inmates, who were themselves wary.
The branding couldn’t hide the facts from the public, and yet it had to avoid amplifying the discomfort factor.
Focus testing with former prisoners revealed that they didn’t want to be treated as charity cases. They wanted and deserved their pride.
To top if off, the brand had to stand boldly out in the crowded gourmet coffee space, where many competitors also had social purpose.
Smiles Ahead
This factor led us to tackle the issues head on, but with humour to make it work. It led us to KLINK Coffee, the coffee that “Brews Up Good” and to the bulldog mascot brand design.
The rollout included naming a product line of coffees, creating launch materials and website, developing a sales system, negotiating with vendors, training staff and what not.
We became invested in KLINK because we saw its amazing opportunities. Why couldn’t KLINK get the contract for coffee roasting for the corrections and policing markets?
Why couldn’t KLINK become the umbrella brand for wide range of enterprises – from window washing to… you name it?
The answer is up to the folks at KLINK… to everyone who believes in the dignity of individuals… and to everyone who gets that successfully reintegrating former prisoners is good for us all.


Strategy, Naming, Copy, Entrepreneurship: Harry Cornelius, Principal, Sideren Inc.
Design, Web Programming, Entrepreneurship: Philip Yan, Chief Experience Designer, GenesisXD