Louisiana Women: Community Coffee’s Donna Saurage

Local News
There’s something special about a hot, fresh cup of coffee.  Soothing and familiar; a feeling many get when sipping Community Coffee. 
 
Donna Saurage, manager of CCC Holdings, joined Community Coffee in 1957. 
 
“I married into this company 62 years ago when I married my husband Normand, and I was very much a part of it with the founder.  His grandfather and his father and it’s been a part of my life ever since I was married” Saurage said. 
 
Little did she know, this small, family business would be a staple in homes across Louisiana 100 years later. 
 
“I didn’t even drink that much coffee. But I learned to drink it and learned to love the product and loved the people” she said.
 
Even though she wasn’t running the company, she played a big role in shaping it to what we know today. 
 
“If you have ideas you need someone to talk it out with, as you talk it you say eh that’s not quite right.
I think I was the listening post and the confidant. I think I validated many of his decisions and he made a lot of good ones and I like to think that maybe I was a part of that” she said.
 
Though her role in the company in the beginning was small, she poured that same sense of family into the community. 
 
“My husband was running the business and I was raising the family, but I had the time to really
give back to the community by volunteering” Saurage said.  “I’ve served on over 50 boards in the past 55-60 years”.
 
As society has evolved- so has Saurage’s mindset on business. 
 
“When I first started serving on boards I was maybe the only woman on the board.  I found that as more women came on boards, and we started to truly participate in making the decisions we became more and more valued” she said.  “It wasn’t that way 50 years ago. And it’s exciting to see the way that’s changed”.
 
Now, in 2019, Saurage says there are no limits for women in business. In fact, she was recently named as one of this year’s Influential Women in Business. 
 
“I never once thought about being considered for it and that’s the honest truth. But it was
a joy to stand up there next to 9 incredible women that I admire so much and to think that I’m one of them”.
 
No matter how much has changed over the last century, one thing has remained the same. 
 
“To keep this flavor, the one you expect  in the morning when you make that cup of coffee. It’s the same thing.  You maintain the values in the company with different people. They come, they go, But we maintain the same values just like we maintain the same flavor with different beans” Saurage said. 
 
A flavor she hopes will be brewing for many years to come. 
 

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