How the community can support local coffee shops during COVID-19

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McKenzie Leary/The Broadside

Coffee and other warm beverages are a staple during wintertime. However with COVID, the cozy coffee shop atmosphere has shifted to an isolated one with limited interactions. Kevin, a barista at Thump Coffee, said that the pandemic had been the ultimate test to Thump’s mission. “Our main mission is to accommodate people and provide a space where people can come to work, hang out, laugh, and smile.”

Without being able to provide indoor seating or a safe space for people to congregate, Kevin and Halee, another barista at Thump, said that so much of their focus has gone to make sure the short interactions with people are special.

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“We want to focus on the quality of the interactions over the transaction happening,” Kevin said.

“Our true colors have come out in the sense that we see the importance of that relationship a little more than before. Not that we didn’t see it before, but it’s been eye-opening,” Halee said.

Backporch Coffee, another local coffee shop, which is owned by Dave Beach, expressed the lonelier atmosphere inside coffee shops during these times.

“You can tell that people miss the interactions and social situations of a coffee shop,” said Beach. “We have a warehouse full of chairs and tables right now, and that is a sad sight to see. We are ready for those seats to be filled again and the noise of human life to continue.”

Both Backporch Coffee and Thump Coffee said business┬áhas been slow since the pandemic began. However, both companies expressed immense gratitude to Bend’s community for showing up and supporting them whenever they can.

“We are so fortunate because the community loves Thump, and we still have people coming in to get their Coffee and their bags of Coffee. They really appreciate us as a coffee shop, and for that, we’re thankful,” Halee said.

There are more ways to support these two businesses besides purchasing a drink now that the holiday season is here. Both Backporch Coffee and Thump Coffee have websites to buy gift cards, merchandise and retail coffee bags.

For those who are missing the social aspect connected to their daily cup of coffee, both Thump Coffee and Backporch Coffee are safe locations following all of the COVID guidelines to ensure their customers will stay healthy.

Neither Backporch Coffee nor Thump Coffee is offering indoor seating due to Oregon’s lockdown mandate. However, Thump Coffee has outdoor seating and a fire pit for those who would like to drink their coffee socially distanced outdoors.

Thump Coffee also has an app for those who would like to order ahead of time for takeout.

Beach says to help keep Backporch Coffee safe they have also, “removed all touchable, self-service items and made sure that touchpoints were removed from the customer standpoint. We also have designated enter and exit doors to make sure that the flow of traffic is healthy for those coming and going.”

Backporch Coffee currently has three locations in Bend. According to Beach, Backporch Coffee is excited to announce that their Century Drive location will be switching to a more accessible location Downtown in mid-December.

Thump Coffee also two locations here in Bend.

Readers can help out these two businesses and treat themselves and others to a nice seasonal drink this winter. Suppose one may need help deciding what to order next time. In that case, Thump Coffee makes all of their syrups in house, which makes them extra tasty. Kevin recommends trying their Peppermint Mocha latte when stopping by. Beach from Backporch Coffee recommends trying their Bombay Latte or their Holiday blend, a mixture of Coffee from Guatemala and Ethiopia.

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