Former Bachelor Ben Higgins recently returned to the franchise with a stint on the spinoff Bachelor Winter Games, raising the question of whether he may be the Bachelor again one day. For now, his next chapter is taking him around the world. Don't worry, he's bringing Bachelor Nation along.
ET: You've been doing work with Humanity and Hope United to improve the lives of people in Honduras for a while. Now, your new company, Generous Coffee, is part of that. How does it fit in?
Ben Higgins: Humanity and Hope grew a lot, [especially] after The Bachelor, from a $50,000 organization to a half-a-million-dollar organization in about four years ... We were challenged to find a for-profit idea that could support the operational side of our non-profit, and that's where Generous came from. What Generous believes in is that for-profit business can be for a purpose, and [we] donate profits to causes that are fighting injustices and are building some type of sustainable good in the world. We're working with organizations in Africa, in Malawi to be specific. We're working to provide jobs in Haiti and in Honduras. There's one community that we hope in the next six months will have 100 percent employment rate for women [who] want to work or can work. ... We want to donate [our profits] back, because that's what we believe the future can hold, and that gets me excited.
What percentage of your profits are you donating?
One hundred percent of profit, which is an ambiguous term, but our goal as a company and what we have in our bylaws is we donate 10 to 15 percent of revenue. So for every bag of coffee bought, you can look at it as $1.50, or somewhere around there, is going to go back to these causes that are vetted and determined.
So how obsessed are you with coffee now?
When Generous first started, I took my first trip to a coffee farm, the same farm that we visited this last week with Dean and Lesley. ... [Now] I do our quality analysis on any coffee that comes in! [Personally] I fill up my pot to eight cups, and I bet I at least drink six of those. I'm not kidding. I drink a lot of coffee.
Yes, your Bachelor Winter Games co-stars, Dean Unglert and Lesley Murphy, came with you on your most recent trip to Honduras! How did that end up happening?
It was actually Dean and Lesley who said, "Hey, I want to see this. I want to see what you do" ... They paid to come down there and to visit and to see what my life consisted of, and to see what their lives maybe could consist of if they want to get involved, but they just came to love people, not only on the trip, but the people who were visiting the communities, and because of that I'm just so grateful for them as people.
What was it like to see them together as a couple outside of the show?
Absolutely incredible. ... I've been friends with Dean for a while, and he and I talked a lot after his Bachelorette season, just because he was just prepping for what if he became the Bachelor. ... His zest and zeal for life and just the way he carries himself is just something I looked up to. Now to see him with Lesley, not only one of the most powerful, strong people that I've met, but also just somebody who really cares about him, has been a really good experience for me as a friend. Let alone to see him in a developing country, you know, picking up kids, holding kids, hiking through the jungles, not sleeping, not showering, eating whatever food we can come by. That was a good bonding experience ... they support each other well.
Will you try to bring more Bachelor Nation alumni to Honduras?
I would love to be able to allow people in the Bachelor world to get away from this crazy world that is post-Bachelor and kind of get perspective on what life is again, and that people out there are struggling, that people out there are without water, without food, and to show that, hey, these Bachelor contestants now have a platform and they can make a huge difference in this world, and bring people out of poverty, and bring people out of helplessness. ... We had a great group [this last trip] ... Brandi Cyrus came, Dean and Lesley, my pastor and about 14 other people.
Brandi Cyrus is a Bachelor fan! Have you met Miley?
I was with the Cyrus family at iHeart fest this last year, and it's kind of where I first told Brandi, "Hey, you should come with us." ... I met Miley, and she is a Bachelor fan! Actually, Noah Cyrus dedicated her song to me at iHeart fest this year, onstage. So I think from Tish to Miley to Noah to Brandi, I think they're all Bachelor fans. It's a really great family, full of a lot of talent ... Brandi has a huge heart. ... The family was talking about how they're really passionate about a couple of organizations that they work with, but through the years, they've also been burned by a few non-profits, and a few companies. In this world that is celebrity-dom, or whatever you want to call it, you can get burnt easy because everybody wants a piece of you.
You're now referring to Generous as your full-time job. Is this your future?
[Right now] I spend at least 12 hours a day on Generous ... it is my full-time job. It is where I see my life going. It not only allows me to be passionate about for-profit business, but it also allows me to use my passion to see people's lives change for the good. So this is the perfect mix of everything and I don't see Generous and myself parting ways forever.
With all that going on, will Ben find time to be Bachelor again? Watch the video below.
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