Bird & Branch
We are a small independent coffee shop near Times Square in New York City. During the height of the pandemic in NYC, we closed our shop to the public to reduce the spread of COVID19. Instead, we used our little shop to prepare and deliver breakfast, coffee, and care packages to healthcare workers throughout the city. During those two months, with the help of our customer base, we delivered over 3,000 breakfasts and care packages to 50+ hospitals. The situation in hospitals has improved tremendously, however, the fight against COVID is not over. Millions of people have been affected by this pandemic, not just physically, but economically as well. Starting in June we pivoted our campaign by partnering with our customers to send food and coffee to Bowery Mission to help them serve people with food insecurity. We plan on continuing to help those in need and work with other soup kitchens/food banks for the foreseeable future.
Given our proximity to Broadway theaters, we have also become a shop that serves people who work in theater. Everyone who works in this industry has been out of work since the lockdown, so during the holidays, we sold care packages to help benefit this community. We will be donating 15% of all proceeds from these care packages to The Actors Fund and the Costume Industry Coalition to help out people in the arts who are out of work until the pandemic is over.
Beyond the pandemic, our shop was founded as way to provide job-training for people with barriers to employment. We aim to give people an opportunity to learn, practice, and make mistakes while working in coffee so that they can be prepared to find long-term employment at other shops and restaurants throughout the city. It has been difficult not being to fulfill what we see as our main purpose a coffee shop because our partner organizations are not yet ready to resume work-training programs, but we have hope that we can survive this pandemic and will continue to help out our neighbors and our city in whatever ways we can.
We have used Ball canning jars since our shop opened as a way to store pre-dosed coffee for batch brewing. We also sell our house-made almond macadamia milk in Ball canning jars for customers to take home and re-use in order to reduce waste.