BELLEVUE, Wash. — Bellden Café in Bellevue makes every cup of coffee with heart – and not just in terms of latte art.
The small business donates 25% of the proceeds from specialty drinks to local non-profits.
Since the shop opened in 2017, they’ve sold more than 5,000 specialty drinks.
The owners and staff also donate their time by volunteering at the selected charities.
"I think you have to do physical work to be bonding,” said owner Claire Sumadiwirya. "I pay my staff up to eight hours a quarter to volunteer, so they can volunteer wherever they want. I just want them to be part of the community."
Regular customer Naomi Mahaffey drives out of her way to get drinks at Bellden.
"It's not just about being in the community, but being a part of the community you’re in,” she said. “The business model represents that to the tee."
Sumadiwirya and her husband, Eddy, came up with the idea after a challenging personal experience. They were on a business assignment in China when their infant son became seriously ill.
During his two-week hospital stay, strangers delivered coffee and homemade soup. Sumadiwirya later learned the food was a gift from hospital janitors.
"These are people who are loving you unconditionally and wanting to help you feel like home. I think that's what inspired me,” she said.
Her son is now a healthy six-year-old who likes volunteering alongside his parents.
Sumadiwirya hopes her coffee shop offers an easy way for customers to connect with those in need, simply by grabbing an espresso.
"Not everybody can afford to donate big, but they can always be part of the community,” she said.
Bellden Café is located at 10527 Main Street in Bellevue. It’s open from 7 am – 6 pm, seven days a week.