The Year of the Water Buffalo

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The water buffalo is a hard-working, loyal animal, the symbol of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year that started on February 12, 2021. The previous year was the year of the rat.

What follows is the Annual Report from Seb to all of our beloved customers, wrapping up a most extraordinary 2020:

Last year was an incredibly challenging year. Little did we know what the Year of the Rat had in store for us when we temporarily closed our four cafes to help “flatten the curve” of the covid-19 pandemic.

The Cafes

We closed all four of our cafes starting on March 14, 2020. We gradually reopened Ballard Coffee Works in June, Seattle Coffee Works in August, and Capitol Coffee Works in September. Cascade Coffee Works remains closed.

Sadly, our flagship cafe, Seattle Coffee Works, was damaged and burgled in the summer, then totaled in a building fire on January 21, 2021. It will take months of hard work to restore it, hopefully in time for summer.

Mail Order Coffee

Our online store saved us during the shut-down and beyond. If you’ve bought a bag of our coffee online, thank you! We’re also grateful for government loans and grants that made it possible for us to survive.

Building Back Takes Work

We have always believed in a vibrant downtown. We poured our hearts into opening lively cafes in the heart of downtown neighborhoods. We continue to believe in these neighborhoods and in the value of bringing people together, though at times we’ve thought it would have been smarter to invest in drive-through coffee stands, outside the urban core.

And yet, we believe that kind people serving amazing coffee in cozy spaces is key to community-building. In Seattle and across the US, we need that now more than ever.

The reality is, it will take a long time before people return regularly to the downtown core. That’s why we’re reaching out to you now. In order to build back our cafes, we need to grow the business of our online store. We need to sell more coffee to more customers.

We Need You

That’s where you come in. If you have already supported us through this pandemic, THANK YOU. If you’re able to support us now, please buy coffee from our online store once again.

And if you know someone who might enjoy our coffee, could you please send them the gift of a bag of coffee? If each of our current customers can bring in ONE more customer, we should be able to survive this year.

We are sure you know one other person who could really use a care package of coffee right now, and who would love our coffee as much as you do. If they have a chance to try it, maybe they'll order more.

Like the Water Buffalo

We’re willing to work hard – like the water buffalo – to make great coffee and gain loyal customers.

One bag of coffee at a time, we hope to rebuild our business so that we can reopen our cafes, expand our hours, hire back our staff, pay our coffee farmers, and continue to bring you the best, most ethically sourced coffee around!

Will you help us spread the word about our coffee and make someone’s day?

See our Coffees and Gifts