Dragonolia, pronounced dragon-ole-e-ya, has been a passion project built from the heart-side out to honor my mother Cathy and brother Justin, both beautiful souls who struggled with addiction their entire lives. What started as a new coffee for our vending customers has evolved into much more over the last year. By sharing my journey, and my own stories through my 2020, I have grown to appreciate how many people are just like me, seeking inspiration to live their own incredible stories every day.
My incredible story, which you can read more about in the stories section, started when I decided that the destructive period of grieving had to end after losing Justin to a heroin overdose on December 5, 2018. In late 2019 I committed to start running and quit drinking for all of 2020, both for my physical and mental health. I also committed to a daily gratitude practice. These three choices proved to change my life. Through running, and my commitment to reframe my relationship with alcohol, I found Herren Project. Or maybe they found me.
Either way, this organization has been the difference in my life. And I believe when given the opportunity, they can become the change that someone you know and love needs as well. Maybe that person also struggles with substance use disorder. Perhaps that someone is the family member or friend of someone who struggles. Maybe that someone is you. No matter who, we believe so strongly in the mission of Herren Project that dragonolia has become not only a place where you can buy exceptional coffee. It’s not only a place where you’ll find inspiring stories from people around the world. It’s taking on its most important and most challenging role.
Dragonolia is the vehicle we built to raise money in honor of my mother and brother who struggled with addiction. Justin lost his life to heroin in 2018. And while my mother died from lung cancer, addiction took her life long before she left us. $1 from each bag of coffee sold will go to Herren Project, a national non-profit organization providing free resources and support for the treatment, recovery, and prevention of substance use disorder. Treatment and recovery services include treatment placement assistance, long-term recovery support for individuals and families, online support groups, as well as scholarships for treatment programs, recovery housing, and recovery coaching.
We hope you love our coffee, of course. But more importantly, we hope you find inspiration, strength, and power in the stories you will find here. The stories will grow over time as they are shared with us. We hope you will grow with us too. And if you are ready to share your story, we are prepared to listen.
Please enjoy the coffee and share it with your family and friends. And then share our stories; share your stories too. There is so much beauty in the darkness of life, not shame, and we are here to show that to the world.
We’re so grateful for you. Thank you for being here.
Be you, be proud, be well.
Jennifer Fox, Founder