about us

 

We are a nonprofit coffee company providing opportunity for street-involved young people to reclaim their lives, one cup at a time.

Young people need more than just a job to move beyond street life; they need the opportunity to form a new identity and the chance to discover who they were created to be.

Street Bean Coffee Roaster’s mission is to provide an opportunity for street-involved young people to discover and employ their gifts by serving coffee in our community. Our hope is that this experience will serve as a catalyst to move onto successful future employment.

The Beginning of Street Bean

Since 1978, the staff members of New Horizons have served the street-involved youth of Seattle. New Horizons was (and remains) a Seattle-based nonprofit that partners with youth on their journey toward a sustainable lifestyle. A particular staff member, Linda Ruthruff, dreamed of opening a business to provide supportive employment for the young people of Seattle. Over 800 young people (ages 12-26) in King County spend each night without stable housing. Most have been disconnected from opportunities to succeed due to a myriad of reasons outside their control.

Linda believed that a coffee shop had the most opportunity for success, with a broad appeal to a diverse group of young people, a real consumer need, and the opportunity for young people to learn a variety of job skills.

“Street Bean Espresso” became the place where street-involved young people could reconnect to what was lost on the streets – positive relationships; the opportunity to learn, grow and fail; and a chance to reconnect to their self-worth.

The owner of Kroll Map Company and New Horizons’ neighbor across the street, John Loacker, expressed interest in finding a business to lease a portion of his storefront. He was more than enthusiastic about the project and offered free rent for the first several months in the space. With the support of a great landlord and a great retail location, Linda officially established a business plan and began fundraising for the project in November 2007.

Street Bean Espresso opened its doors two years later, on November 2, 2009 as a newly formed subsidiary and nonprofit social enterprise serving fantastic coffee.

In March of 2015 Street Bean moved locations to be a part of the newly remodeled New Horizons building, just across the street from Street Bean’s original location. In July of 2015, Street Bean began roasting coffee and hosting a roasting apprenticeship. Street Bean (now ‘Street Bean Coffee Roasters’) serves in the shops for retail as well as wholesale.

As we look to the future we are excited at the opportunity to expand to a third location as well as expand our wholesale reach. Because of the support of the community we have been able to grow and thrive. We hope you’ll come join us for an excellent cup of coffee soon!