Stepping into this sleek café located in Belltown, you might assume it’s just another Seattle coffee shop where you can order latte art and a biscotti. Yet the name–Street Bean Espresso–is packed with meaning, each word reflecting one of the founders’ goals. As stated on the website, their “aim is to accomplish targets that are social, environmental, and financial – a triple bottom line.”
Street: The primary purpose of this social enterprise is to provide a venue where young people from the streets can gain skills needed for employment and living. As more eloquently put on the website, they can “reclaim their lives away from (and yet in the midst of) the streets of Seattle.” Since it’s difficult to land that first job without employment history, an educational degree or diploma and sometimes even ID, the Street Bean enables youth to gain that work experience that’s essential for transitioning to any other company.
Bean: Dedicated to providing sustainable products and services, the café serves coffee that is grown in Guatemala where they’ve formed direct relationships with the farmers. The café partners with Agros International to ensure these farmers gain the greatest profit, benefit and land ownership that will in turn help eliminate cycles of poverty.
Espresso: Ultimately, Street Bean Espresso is a coffee shop dedicated to serving excellent coffee. While committed to doing good, they thrive on the fact that they are a competing business, a social enterprise, roasting coffee beans on the site for the highest quality product around.
It’s refreshing to see a social enterprise like the Street Bean that bridging demographic divides, empowering youth, sourcing from sustainable farms and providing a well-made product that’s on par with their competitors. Now that’s quality in a cup!