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Bellden Cafe Is Building Community, Giving Back, And Changing Lives

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Below is our recent interview with Claire Sumadiwirya, the Founder of Bellden:

Q: Claire, can you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Bellden?

A: Bellden is a labor of love with the community members of Bellevue. We are the first community-focused cafe in the area that has the core mission of giving back through donations, volunteering, and self and social awareness building. Since we opened our doors six years ago, we have partnered with over 25 charity organizations and donated a part of the proceeds from more than 16,000 charity drinks. Additionally, Bellden team members have offered 2000 paid hours of volunteer services.

Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?

A: First, we are launching a new line of candles that aligns with our charity partners’ missions and donating all of the proceeds to organizations that support Bellevue children and families, those experiencing homelessness, and others in need of healthcare. Then, we are working with our roaster to create a unique bag of coffee beans to sell and support our Bellden Community Fund. Finally, the most exciting part is that we are launching the Bellden Life Project that will provide paid job readiness training for marginalized communities so everyone who comes through Bellden’s doors will have equal opportunity for career growth.

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Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?

A: The Bellden Life Project will offer all its participants — especially immigrant, refugee, and BIPOC youth — the opportunity to build communication skills, engage in a community everyday, and practice professional development, all while earning and learning financial independence. My career eventually helped me to build the confidence and autonomy to thrive in the United States as a Chinese immigrant. Now, I want to offer this same opportunity to others through the coffee, community, and charity offered at Bellden Cafe.

Q: What can we expect from your company in the next 6 months? What are your plans?

A: In 2023, Bellden Cafe plans to expand its menu. Every Thursday night will be Community Night at the cafe, where various local leaders can share and celebrate their contributions to the neighborhood. Additionally, more products will be available that will support our job training program and 100% of proceeds will go directly to someone in need. Each quarter we will have a new cohort of paid students who will master the skills that their dream job will require.

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Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?

A: Our team and the community make us so proud to serve downtown Bellevue everyday. Our cafe was opened based on the generosity of someone who treated my son well during a difficult time. Kindness and compassion are what we practice each day with each other, customers, and the community. The cafe is truly our happy place.

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