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Guest Podcast: Brewed

Guest Podcaster: Brooke Bechtold


Have you ever thought something so simple as buying a coffee would significantly change a person’s life? Sound implausible? Think again.

HummbleBragg, a new Chicago-based podcast, is proud to tell the story of Curt’s Cafe in Evanston, IL. A small, but warm and inviting café, it’s a magnet and mortar to the community it serves. But more than the coffee it brews, the real mission of Curt’s Café is cultivating promise.

This is a story about social responsibility. Almost every employee behind the counter is under the tender age of 25. For many, it’s their first job. Talk to a couple of employees, or even to some regulars, and you’ll understand why it’s so much more than a job. It’s a beacon of hope for the formerly incarcerated, homeless, and traumatized youth.

Susan Treishmann is the brainchild behind the café. One of the original founders of Chicago’s very own Food for Thought Catering, Susan named Curt’s for late brother-in-law, Curt Sharp, who passed away young. She watched him process his own life and death and wanted to make sure she made opportunities for herself that would both expand her world understanding and have impact.

Susan enrolled in college and accidentally signed up for a restorative justice class. The experience was life-changing.

She learned about the power and practice of dialogue – specifically circles aimed to bring together victims, offenders and community members to address harms committed and are an attempt to restore broken relationships. And it works!

HummbleBragg, a new Chicago-based podcast, sets out to explore personal stories of people, with an eye for social responsibility and fostering strong communities. Creator and Host Brooke Bechtold, an 1871 Founder, was proud of her team for suggesting they highlight the whole-child work of Susan and her team at Curt’s.

“We believe in the power of the human voice, social responsibility and how storytelling connects us with communities and brands we support”

Podcasting has become a wonderful medium for sharing stories with listeners all over the world. Stories like Susan’s know no bounds. The power of stories like Brewed is to inspire activism in other communities. Children of all ethnicities and socioeconomic situations deserve to have support and sustainable options that allow them to make good decisions and live a productive life.

Bringing the 1871 magic together with podcasting is steeped in support. As part of WiSTEM, Brooke was excited to partner with Luisa Castellanos and Andy Freivogel of fellow 1871 company, Science, to create Brewed. It was a great way to share their social media and listener audiences to boost exposure – every founder's dream!

Have a listen to Brewed. We hope you’ll notice Susan’s passion for her students, give some thought to your own social impact goals and never take an online menu or great eatery WiFi for granted again.

Everyone has a story. How does your story go?


About Brooke Bechtold

Brooke Bechtold is the founder and president of Humm Productions and the creator and host of The HummbleBragg podcast. A true thought leader in the hub and spoke space of social responsibility storytelling, Brooke launched Humm Productions to bring inspiring stories of individuals and non-profit community impact together with corporate social responsibility platforms - providing human context, sparking vital partnerships, and building healthy activism.

In addition to being a serial entrepreneur and super fan of 1871’s, Brooke is the mom to two great boys, she’s been her neighborhood’s social director for over 20 years, she has two funny, little dogs and she and her husband grow and heirloom sweet pickle their homegrown cucumbers every summer.

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