Instead of closing and laying off employees when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, owner of Bellden Café in Bellevue, Claire Sumadiwirya, made the commitment to stay open and help the community.
This is only one of the reasons why Reader’s Digest selected Bellden Café as the Nicest Place in Washington as part of their Nicest Place in America Contest.
Bellden Café has always operated under a charitable mission. Sumadiwirya committed to partnering with community nonprofits when she opened Bellden, according to the Reader’s Digest article on the cafe. Each nonprofit has a signature drink for which 25 percent of the drink’s price is donated to the nonprofit. You can find out which charities Bellden partners with here.
Since COVID-19, Sumadiwirya has offered employees unemployment benefits who felt unsafe working. She has also kept others employed, serving to-go items daily.
“Bellden Cafe, with Claire as its owner, has truly been a model of servant leadership displaying her commitment to the community in this time of crisis,” Anne Lauren, the barista who nominated Bellden to Reader’s Digest, said.
According to Reader’s Digest, “(Bellden) raised money to deliver coffee and pastries to frontline workers at local hospitals and police departments. And Bellden has served as a hub for donations that go toward supplies like diapers, groceries, and other necessary items for those who need.”
You can see the honorees from all 50 states here.