When envisioning a typical coffee shop in Seattle, one may picture a long line of impatient people, three to four baristas frantically trying to deliver each of the orders and nearly every table and seat taken during the busiest hours. Nevertheless, not all coffee shops have this hectic, busy feel to them. Nestled in the Champion Centre right at the entrance to Bellevue College is the 148th Avenue Coffee Shop which opened nearly two years ago.
The idea behind this coffee shop was to have an environment where students and community members could gather and have a place to hang out, study and work while enjoying the comfortable seating, spacious area and delicious food and beverages.
However, the 148th Avenue Coffee Shop is more than just a coffee shop. About six months ago, the manager, Daniel Mejia, introduced an internship program in which interns had the opportunity to put in a certain amount of hours and receive free barista training, interview tips and resume development.
“If you’ve never had a job and need to start work, put in some hours and we’ll be your reference on any application,” explains assistant manager Tim Nelson. The first intern for this program was former BC student, Grant Licata.When describing Mejia, Licata says, “He taught me how to be a great barista and open up socially with people more.” Those interested in the internship program should visit the shop and speak with Nelson or Mejia for more details.
One of the regulars, BC student Jefferson Eagley, says, “It is right next to the school, not as crowded as other coffee shops, [has] nice customer service and it’s cheaper.” He also adds, “this was the first coffee shop in the area to have wheat-free stuff,” which benefitted Eagley tremendously due to his wheat intolerance. Eagley frequently visits the shop in order to have a soothing study space.
Another feature of this coffee shop is that the building is available to be rented out. Just recently, there was an international student celebration in which BC international students used the space at the coffee shop and the Champion Centre to have a talent show and a showcase of each country represented. “It is good exposure for the coffee shop,” explained Nelson.
If the free WiFi and quiet environment isn’t enough, the 148th Avenue Coffee Shop also posts discounts on its Facebook wall in order to promote its business. For example, it will allow people to buy one and get one drink free, receive free drinks during certain times of the day or enjoy generous discounts.
Besides just selling coffee, this shop also sells other food and beverages, such as smoothies, tea, sandwiches and bagels. “The beans we used there were top quality and allowed me to grow a new love for coffee,” shares Licata. If you are feeling lonely, the charismatic staff will even be able to keep you company while they work.
The coffee shop is open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday as well as Sunday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Hours may vary. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the coffee shop, their e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.