Collaboration Coffee partners with community to bring more than 1,000 cups of coffee to essential workers

YAKIMA, Wash. — A Yakima coffee shop has been working to make the lives of healthcare professionals and grocery store workers a little bit easier as they work on the front lines against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Collaboration Coffee has partnered with community members to bring about 75 gallons — more than 1,000 cups — of coffee to local clinics and grocery stores; the community buys the coffee, donates it to local workers and the coffee shop delivers it for free.

“All of those cups of coffee were purchased by the community, for the community,” co-owner Maddie Hicks said. “I think everyone feels really good about being able to help and being helped.”

Customers can purchase a gallon of fresh-brewed coffee for $25 to $27.50 and designate delivery to a local medical clinic or a grocery store break room.

“Our delivery procedures have been reviewed by medical professionals to minimize any risk to our customers,” the coffee shop website reads.

Like many businesses, the coffee shop and its sister company Basalt Roasters, has had to change the way they do business in these trying times.

“We are very small and we’re very new … We’re trying to adapt, I think, like everyone,” Hicks said. “Our community has been really doing a really great job of supporting us.”

Despite the challenges of the coffee shop itself being closed, the business is persevering.

“Our offerings are limited but this has been an opportunity to get more people in town just to know who we are,” Hicks said.

Part of that effort involves hosting live coffee-brewing videos on Facebook; co-owner Adam Wilson hosted a chat last week about different types of coffee brewing.

Since the shop closed to customers in March, another aspect missing from the day-to-day operations of Collaboration Coffee is its function of promoting local artists and their work.

Prior to the closure, the shop hosted new exhibitions every month, including opening art receptions on the first Friday of the month, where attendees could ask the artist about their work.

“A big part of the space is that it’s an art gallery and a community space,” Hicks said. “To honor that and kind of keep people engaged … We are launching a virtual art gallery.”

The virtual art show, “How We Cope” is described as, “collection of art created around healing & processing during the pandemic and our sheltering in place. It is an effort, a creation by us all to document what is real, to experience all that life has to offer, light & dark, and emerge with a truer sense of our sameness, of what unifies us. It is community.”

Collaboration Coffee invited all local artists to participate in any medium by sending a picture of any works created in response to the current crisis and information about their piece — including if it’s available for purchase.

“We all use art, whatever that might be, to process emotions to learn, to grow,” Hicks said.

Hicks said for her and many others, right now is a scary time filled with uncertainty, a time where people really need art.

“Whatever you’re doing, it’s beautiful; it’s good,” Hicks said. “It’s good for you, it’s good for the community and it’ll bring us together.”

How We Cope should open within the next week; the opening will be announced on the coffee shop’s Facebook page.

In the meantime, there are several ways to support Collaboration Coffee and Basalt Roasters, including purchasing: