Evo's donates dollars to charity

The owners of Evo's Coffee Lounge are giving a little bit of their profits back to the community, and taking a lot of pride in doing it.

Daniel Cooke and his wife, Brigette, have sought to make their coffee shop on East Main Street more Ashland-friendly since taking over in 2007, by showcasing work from local artists and musicians. But it's a new venture that has the couple and co-owners excited. Once a month, since April, they have held fundraising efforts to support local charitable causes.

The shop holds "Evo's Giving Day" on the first Tuesday of each month. One dollar from each purchase is set aside on giving day, and donated to a charitable cause in the community. Daniel Cooke said he and his wife abide by the "four Cs" of effective ownership:

"Coffee, community, creativity and comfort," he said. "All of them are important." Their fundraising effort could be called a creative way to use coffee toward a better community.

"We select who we want to give to, but we have a pretty broad range," Daniel said. "Our primary focus is local."

It started in April, with the coffee shop setting up a partnership with Jefferson Public Radio. On April 7, the Cookes put aside a dollar from each purchase throughout the day. They saw more than 200 customers, and by closing time had raised $209 to support JPR.

They have since held fundraisers for the Ashland Emergency Food Bank, Southern Oregon Land Conservancy, Langford Children's Art Studio and Friends of the Animal Shelter.

On Oct. 6, they held a giving day to raise funds for the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, a wilderness advocacy group working to preserve forestland in the Klamath and Siskiyou basins.

Gary Powell with KS Wild was at Evo's Tuesday to promote the group's projects in Southern Oregon and Northern California. Spending time in front of the shop with Daniel and Brigette, Powell had nothing but praise for their efforts, calling the fundraisers "a great opportunity" to reach out to the community.

"It gives them an opportunity to promote sustainability. That's what we're all about," Powell said.

Brigette said Evo's Giving Day is an extremely important event, because it gives her a chance to support the groups she and her husband care about.

"We're averaging over $200 for each organization," Brigette said. "It's such an easy way for us to give back."

The Cookes raised $203 for KS Wild when all was said and done. The next three giving days will raise funds for different groups within the Ashland Community Works program, starting with the Dunn House Women's Shelter Nov. 3, Ashland Street Outreach Dec. 1 and Lithia Springs Youth Residence Jan. 5.

What began with a spur-of-the-moment idea at the start 2009 has become a model for business philanthropy near the end of it. Daniel and Brigette rank it among the most personally rewarding aspects of their ownership. And they don't plan on stopping any time soon.

"It's an honor to do this for the community," Brigette said. "I hope we continue to do it for a long, long time."

Share This Story