Ricardo Jose Bueso is only 25 years old but already has the philanthropic spirit and business savvy of the Dalai Lama and Warren Buffet put together.
Last year, he, along with his brother Ricardo Juan, founded the Thx Co., a "social good" brand company based in Hollywood that allows customers to donate to any nonprofit of their choosing with the purchase of the company's products. The minimum donation required is $1.
The idea began with offering fragrances and gourmet coffee, and from there the line has expanded to 25 products, including teas, candles, and journals. This week, the brothers will begin their Kickstarter campaign to raise more money to expand, thus raising more for nonprofits.
The Thx Co. launched locally in May 2015, when it began selling in small organic stores in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Stores were encouraged to choose a charity and let their customers know about the donation with each purchase. The brothers also had a small website with a few local nonprofit partners, nothing close to the platform they have today. Recently, they hosted several pop-up events at Art Basel and the Miami Flea.
The coffee is organic and comes from Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, and Brazil. Beans are roasted locally in South Florida. “The reason that we partnered with the roaster that we did is because of how they sustainably source their coffee — their direct-trade program — which is awesome. It’s very defined. It’s not an ethereal direct-trade program. It really does go direct to the farmers.”
Teas are internationally sourced and blended in Wynwood. Flavors include Brazilian pineapple green tea and hibiscus herbal tea.
The soy candles are hand-poured in Coral Springs in partnership with an organization that employs young adults with developmental disabilities. “They place our wicks; they pour the wax," Ricardo Jose says. "We label them here, but we’ve really helped to put a beautiful product together. It’s not just a candle now; it’s an opportunity."
The Thx Co. also offers a corporate gift program, allowing companies to buy Thankful boxes for employees and clients. A simple black matte box is printed with the company’s logo on top. The inside of the box bears the message “Thankful for you,” along with a selection of products and a handwritten note letting the recipient know the name of the nonprofit that has benefited from this gift.
"It's been a lot of work over the past year and a half to get here," Ricardo Jose says. "Building out each of the selections for each of the products, making sure that the design was great, and now developing this platform digitally."
The Kickstarter campaign will end January 30. “Our public goal is $75,000," Ricardo Jose says. "Our rewards are great. We’ve put together nice packages for each of the reward levels, and, God willing, we’ll raise $1 million.” Products will ship at the end of February.
In the past year, the company has raised almost $20,000 for nonprofits and causes. It has also donated to Feeding South Florida, the Miami Rescue Mission, and Broward Partnership, among others, and collaborated with the Parent Teacher Associations of Broward and Miami-Dade to participate in school fundraisers.
For the Bueso family, the Thx Co. is more than a business. It's an act of love. "We think that love is powerful," Ricardo Jose says. "We think that, not to sound sappy, the world needs more of it.”
Visit Kickstarter to donate to the project.
Alona Abbady Martinez lives in Plantation, Florida. She writes about food and family on her blog, Culinary Compulsion, and is working on her book, My Culinary Compulsion, a global food memoir with recipes. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.