Written by Joy Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 22 August 2013 00:00
Anyone who loves fine coffee is going to be thrilled when they step foot into Irma Avenue’s Sweet Comfort Bakery just off Main Street.
For the past several years, this well-known passionate, social enterprise bakery/coffee shop has built its business around offering employment to adults with developmental disabilities.
Community Mainstreaming Associates (CMA) is the parent company for Sweet Comfort Bakery, and it is now joining forces and coffee pots with a company called COFFEED. This is a big plus for Port Washington because, “It is our mission to support communities in a meaningful way by giving 10% of sales to local charities,” said COFFEED Chief Operating Officer Abe King. COFFEED, which is based in Long Island City on Northern Boulevard in the Brooklyn Grange Building “is about connectivity, collaborations and building the community in which we operate,” King added.
COFFEED roasts its own coffee in small batches and bakes its own pastries. The company purchases coffee from the finest growers in the world from Brazil, Columbia, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Ethiopia to name a few.
The Director of Development for CMA, Karen Puritano, couldn’t be happier about the marriage of these two companies — which she clarified will still operate as separate entities but both “walk the walk” and “talk the talk” to the tune of helping those in need. “I don’t know many towns that have embraced an endeavor like ours. The local support we received for Sweet Comfort has sustained this bakery for years,” she added. “People have made it a point to go out of their way to support us and that was definitely a draw for the folks at COFFEED.”
How is Port Washington going to benefit from COFFEED joining forces with CMA? According to King, it’s two-fold. The company will be creating a lot of more jobs for people with developmental challenges in the area and neighboring towns. “We plan to expand our hiring numbers and eventually build more locations,” King said. “The people of Port who appreciate fine coffee should know we are now offering residents the finest coffee in the world.”
Coffee can be purchased by the bag or by the cup. The lattes there have steamed milk in the neat shape of a leaf — not to mention the coffee cubes to keep coffee cold and preserve the taste. The presentation is not only crafty and artistic, but excellent tasting too. Bags of coffee beans range from anywhere from $16 to $150 a bag. Panana Geisha is one of the world’s finest coffee grown and harvested and only offered once a year. By late August, these bags will be available for purchase at Port’s COFFEED. “It’s the perfect product,” said King. “You have to be in the coffee trade for a real long time to be able to make coffee just right.”
COFFEED supports a ton of local organizations including Harborfest, The Landmark, and The Community Chest. The company donates 10 percent off the top of all their revenue to these organizations.
“COFFEED have never batted an eye at our mission,” said Puritano. “We were immediately impressed with the people there,” she says. “It was a true match for us.”
CMA has a group home right off Main Street. There are many supporters of their mission. “Ohm Sweet Ohm offers free yoga lessons to people in the home; they are incredibly supportive,” said Puritano. “Alpers has been hiring people for the last 25 years and the local eye doctor offers reduced eye care. You don’t have to look far to see that there are plenty of local supporters ingrained in our mission. Port Washington has been incredibly kind.”