Mitch Reaume ’13 is the Entrepreneur Behind Several Socially-Minded Brands

This fall, the MN Christmas Market—with three Twin Cities pop-up events—will support Bethel students through the Fight for Something refugee scholarship fund.

By Monique Kleinhuizen '08, GS'16, contributing writer

November 09, 2023 | Noon

Mitch Reaume ’13

Mitch Reaume ’13

“Relationally, all my deepest friendships were formed at Bethel—it’s where I found my people,” says Mitch Reaume ’13. “I got a great education. I learned how to think critically. Not to mention, it’s where my faith grew and matured... It's where I connected with the deep-rooted commitment to generosity that runs through the core of our faith, and that the only things that matter at the end of the day are loving God and loving people.”

Reaume’s original plan was to become a youth pastor—and Bethel was the logical, local choice for a guy from Plymouth, Minnesota. He double-majored in biblical and theological studies and relational communication and then spent seven years sticking to the plan. He married his Bethel sweetheart Stephanie (Holm) Reaume ’14  and became a full-time pastor. He loved ministry, but realized another passion of his was to see businesses doing good in the world.

He had been noticing headlines with all sorts of businesses doing bad—through corruption, greedy leaders, or harmful products—and couldn’t help thinking that there was room for businesses to do a whole lot of good, too. He started dabbling in socially- and charitably-minded entrepreneurial ventures on the side. Five hours a week became ten, and before he knew it, he realized he was working two full-time jobs, and couldn’t continue to do both well.

He left his pastor role in 2020 and jumped into full-time entrepreneurship, launching Fight for Something, a parent company to several smaller, socially conscious brands. Emiliani Coffee roasts small-batch, ethically-sourced coffee, with proceeds benefiting kids in the foster care and adoption system. Sales of drinkware and apparel from Northern Glasses supply clean water in developing countries, and Twin Cities Print brings custom screen and digital printing to small businesses.

This month, the MN Christmas Market has three one-day shopping events featuring goods from local small businesses, with 7% of all sales benefitting the Fight for Something Scholarship at Bethel. Launched in partnership with The Urban Village in 2022, the scholarship helps Karen and Karenni refugees pursue a Bethel education. Five students are at Bethel this year through the first cohort of scholarship recipients. 

“The thing that ties all these brands together is the heartbeat of wanting to do good,” Reaume says. “Like any small business owner, it’s been a roller coaster ride. I’ll have the best day ever, and the next day think, ‘what am I doing?’ and want to find a job with no responsibility and just tuck into that. But I truly love what we get to do. It’s so satisfying to support small businesses—and get to make a difference in the world.”

From staffing decisions to marketing and branding, building partnerships with local vendors, and consulting with other small businesses who want to find ways to be charitable—it seems no two days are alike for Reaume. He has to adapt to the ebbs and flows of juggling multiple businesses with varying needs—and all the while tries to keep the focus on the people and the causes behind them all.

“People sometimes say, ‘oh, you’re not using your degree!’ and honestly, yes and no. There’s a ton of overlap between church-planting and being an entrepreneur. My time at Bethel—and the people I met there, who still surround me—set me up for where we are today.”

— Mitch Reaume ’13

Support the Fight for Something scholarship fund

Shop the MN Christmas Market—and 7% of your purchase will support refugee students—or make a gift to Bethel and add “Fight for Something Scholarship” in the memo. Opportunities also exist for ongoing personal and corporate sponsorships of individual scholarship recipients.

Learn more