After months of fundraising, lack of fancy drinks and disappointed customers, the 193 Coffeehouse has a new espresso machine, purchased entirely by an anonymous donor.
As a nonprofit, student-run organization, it was difficult for the 193 Coffeehouse to come up with the money to purchase a new $2000 espresso machine. The employees tried fundraising through open-mics, sacrificing their tips and asking for donations. “We only raised about $400,” said Max Smith, one of the coordinators at the Coffeehouse. “So we still had a long way to go.”
On Oct. 11, The Good Five Cent Cigar ran a story regarding the Coffeehouse’s need for a new machine. An anonymous donor saw the article and was inspired to help. “I thought the story was just so great at informing everyone,” said the donor. “I saw it and thought that I could help bridge the gap, but then I just decided to buy them the whole thing!” The donor purchased the Coffeehouse a brand new espresso machine of their choosing, asking for nothing in return.
The 193 Coffeehouse has become a second home for a lot of people, which is something that the donor was drawn to. “I absolutely love this coffee shop because when I was in college we had a similar thing. I worked there in college and I loved the vibe. I loved that I could be sitting with the students as well as professors,” said the donor. “The Coffeehouse is a place where people can just be open and be themselves.”
When it comes to charity, the donor says that no matter how much you have, anyone can help out. “For me, I was able to cover $2000, but not a lot of people can easily do so. I think whether you can give a $10 or a $2000 item, anything helps,” said the donor.
“The donor saved us. They really did. The presence of an anonymous donor just lifted the burden that we were feeling both internally and externally,” said Benjamin Riggin, the other coordinator of the Coffeehouse. “Sometimes the reality of the present situation shatters your imagination and expectations into something more grand.”
Everyone at the Coffeehouse is very happy with the new espresso machine.“I am really excited because we are going to bring in a lot more people that we lost,” said Arden Bastia. “We have a lot of specialty drinks that I cannot wait to make again. My favorite is called ‘The London Fog,’ which is Earl Grey tea with steamed frothy milk and lavender syrup.”
“My quality of life has been vastly improved since the espresso machine returned,” said customer Veronica Wood. “There are just so many choices now!”
As for the money that was raised, Smith says that it will probably be used for the customers. “We still haven’t quite figured it out, but we’re thinking we’ll use it to make the Coffeehouse an even better environment for the people who come through.”