Coffee Businesses Providing COVID-19 Relief: Part Three

We continue our series looking at initiatives coffee businesses are taking on to aid others impacted by the coronavirus.


Cover photo courtesy of Bobae Coffee & Tea

Throughout the past couple months, we’ve been spotlighting several of the countless coffee businesses that are doing something special to help out health-care workers, baristas, and other individuals who have experienced turmoil during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we continue featuring even more companies that are providing relief during a tough time.

Bobae staff put together 150 drinks to share with the workers at Evergreen Hospital. Photo courtesy of Bobae Coffee & Tea.

Bobae Coffee & Tea

Health-care workers love their coffee, but milk tea is now another favorite thanks to the crew at Bobae Coffee & Tea. While sticking to online and mobile ordering during this time, the crew made 150 single-origin coffees, fresh lemonades, and nitro-infused bubble teas for the staff at the Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, Wash. They’re also gearing up to partner with the nonprofit #HashtagLunchbag to provide food to more hospitals in the Seattle area. “We generally did a lot of feeding homeless work with them before COVID-19, so we are very excited to be able to do this for more hospitals!” says the team at Bobae.

Local Food Project by Wayfarer Coffee Roasters provides goods from several companies to a wide variety of groups. Photo courtesy of Wayfarer Coffee Roasters.

Local Food Project – Wayfarer Coffee Roasters

One consistent theme that’s been relevant throughout the pandemic is the need to support local and small businesses fighting to stay afloat during nonessential shutdowns. To support this message, Wayfarer Coffee Roasters has teamed up with several other food businesses in their area to host Local Food Project, which provides goods from all of their companies to countless groups like health-care workers, fire department staff, and women’s shelters. To help the team continue the service, customers can visit Wayfarer’s web shop to donate $25, which goes toward a box of your choosing. Current options include food packages, cold-brew sets, and flower bouquets for extra gratitude!

Zumbar Coffee & Tea

In addition to offering mobile ordering for pickup during the pandemic, Zumbar Coffee & Tea has chosen to donate 5% of its pickup sales to the San Diego Food Bank until May 15! The food bank is currently offering drive-through distribution of groceries and other food items to families in the greater San Diego area who are experiencing financial difficulties.

Cafecito Routes’ weekly live streams feature discussions with Latin American coffee professionals, who give advice on moving forward after COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Cafecito Routes.

Cafecito: Después de la Crisis – Cafecito Routes

Cafecito Routes in Lima, Peru, hosts a livestream on Instagram every week called Cafecito: Después de la Crisis, which features conversations with coffee professionals who share advice on how to operate efficiently during the pandemic. Topics so far have included elements of digital marketing, design-forward strategies, and coffee shop management. They’re also inviting coffee producers in Peru to fill out a survey that details how they’re affected by COVID-19 in order to formulate a contingency plan to stabilize the production chain.

En español:
En Lima, Cafecito Routes organiza un livestream por Instagram cada semana se llama “Cafecito: Después de la Crisis,” que presenta conversaciones con los profesionales cafeteros, que comparten consejos sobre cómo operar durante la pandemia. Los sujetos incluyen partes de márketing digital, estrategias diseños, y la gestión de cafeterías. Además, invitan a productores de café en Peru llenar una encuesta que describe cómo han sido afectados por COVID-19 para que crean un plan de contingencia plan para estabilizar la cadena de producción.

Lionheart owners Lauren and Ben prepare sandwiches for the Sack Lunch Program. Photo courtesy of Madeleine Delaplane.

Sack Lunch Program – Lionheart Coffee

When grade schools in Oregon shut down, Lionheart Coffee co-owner Lauren Reese found a way to provide lunches for families in Beaverton who are dependent on school meals to feed their kids. She and her husband/co-owner, Ben, reached out to the area for cash and food donations to kickstart the program, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. “The response from our community was HUGE,” says Lauren. “I was working the day after the social media announcement and I’ll never forget how our backroom filled up with food donations twice over in just one day. It was clear how strongly our community stood behind us, and we were ready and determined to match that passion.”

At Lionheart’s two locations, anyone can pick up free sack lunches, no questions asked. They also provide delivery of these lunches upon request. In addition to community donations, companies like Pacific Foods have also lent a hand to the project, donating a truckload of soups, broths, and other goods for the lunches! Lionheart is currently still providing around 40 to 60 meals a day between both locations.

We will continue this series next week.

About Katrina Yentch 221 Articles
Katrina Yentch (she/her) is a freelance writer and Barista Magazine's Online Editor. When she's not writing, you can find her napping, cooking, and drinking whatever's on drip.