Rendering of the 1951 Coffee kiosk at the Berkeley BART station plaza. Images courtesy of 1951 Coffee Company.

Berkeley, California-based specialty coffee nonprofit 1951 Coffee Company is further expanding its mission to support refugees with the opening of a retail kiosk by the downtown Berkeley Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station.

Scheduled to open next month, the 80-square-foot freestanding retail bar will be located above ground at the Berkeley BART plaza, offering brewed coffee and espresso-based drinks along with pastries from Berkeley’s Third Culture Bakery.

The kiosk follows this past summer’s opening of a small 1951 coffee bar inside the UC Berkeley student union building and the 2017 opening of 1951’s flagship cafe on Channing Way just east of Dana. Just two months ago, the organization debuted its own branded line of coffees for its own retail locations plus nationwide direct-to-consumer sales, in collaboration with Oakland’s Coffee Manufactory.

1951 coffee bags

Proceeds from all these business endeavors funnel back to the three-year-old nonprofit’s core purpose, which is to provide assistance and job training to refugees and asylum-seekers. Approximately 100 people who have come through the U.S. formal refugee program, have been granted asylum or have special immigrant visas now complete 1951’s in-house barista training program each year. Upon completion, trainees are assisted with job placement within cafes, including AKA Coffee, Blue Bottle Coffee, Guerilla Cafe, Mazarine Coffee, Ritual Coffee Roasters and others, according to 1951.

“Every single cup of coffee sold at 1951 Coffee makes a direct impact on the lives of the refugees and asylees that are employed at our cafes,” 1951 Co-Founders Doug Hewitt and Rachel Taber said jointly in a press announcement from 1951 released today. “This new location will allow us to build a stronger community with the tens of thousands of commuters that will pass through the plaza.”

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