Refuge Coffee Collaboration





History Logs

Project Description

Country: USA

Location: Anchorage, AK

Total Budget: $8,000

Area of Focus: Community economic development

Activity Type: Community Development: General

Summary: Funding for start-up costs to open a coffee shop café for Priceless. This café will provide work force training with trauma informed supervision and an steady income to those they have rescued from human trafficking.

In 2017, Anchorage East Rotary (AER) began partnering with Fur Rondy to hold a beer festival, we called Brewfest. This event was open to the public and raised funds for the local non-profit, Priceless. Priceless is a 501(c) 3 organization that was founded in 2012 by Gwen Adams. Gwen was a member of Alaska Governor Parnell's task force for the Crimes of Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery. Her time on this task force brought the issue in our state to light and resulted in the creation of Priceless. Since then, Priceless has helped over 200 survivors of human trafficking. We held this beer festival for 4 years, raising over $28,000 for Priceless. We were unable to continue to offer the beer fest after 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We currently have $1,500 remaining from the funds we raised through the Brewfest that we would like to donate to support their new project, called Refuge Coffee Collaboration. This café will be located at 3309 Spenard Road, Anchorage, AK. AER will also be contributing an additional $2,500 using our Community Service Grant funds, making our total donation $4,000. AER's donation will be used towards the purchase of cups, glassware, silverware, plates, paper products, coffee supplies, inventory, etc. They are calling these items "Cafe Opening Costs" within their business plan. Below is a snippet of their costs breakdown for this project from their business plan:

Design & Planning (RIM Architects) :: $50,000

Construction & Build Out (Midnight Sun Builders) :: $200,000

Building Rent :: $6,000 per month ($144,000 for first 2 years)

Cafe Manager :: $35,000 ($70,000 for first 2 years)

Utilities :: $400 monthly ($9,600 for first 2 years)

**Cafe Opening Costs (product, goods, etc) :: $8,000 - $10,000**

Please note that they have already completed the Design and Planning phase and construction has began in the building.

Uncle Leroy's Coffee has agreed to move their roasting operation to this space and help with the lease costs, reducing Priceless's lease expense. Uncle Leroy's will be providing the coffee to the cafe and will be creating a custom blend for them called Traffic Stop.

Priceless decided to open this coffee cafe for they were finding that their clients (survivors) were having significant difficulty transitioning into the work force. With little experience and dealing with so much trauma, getting fired from the first few jobs became the norm. This café will create a consistent income stream to help their clients with their direct care needs such as car repairs, childcare, legal funds, counseling, etc. It will also provide them with work force training with trauma informed supervision and a soft place to learn skills like interacting with people, showing up on time, learning to have honest conversation with supervisors and expressing personal need.

In summary, AER is requesting a district grant of $4,000 to match our donation. This would result in an $8,000 donation. We would like to disburse these funds after the first of July 2024.

Project Contact Person

District: 5010

Rotary Club of: Anchorage East

Primary Contact: Jennifer Snodgrass

Email: jennstringer23@yahoo.com

Project Status

This project is "Signed". This means that the signatures from the club leadership have been collected. This project is now being reviewed by the district leadership for approval. Once a decision is made, the status of the project will be changed to "Approved".

Project listed for the 2024-25 Rotary Year.

Proposed Financing

Existing Contributions Towards This Project





Anchorage East (5010)









DDF contributions in grey are pending approval of the corresponding district committee.

Project Supporting Documents

Project Photos

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History Log Entries


System Entry

System Entry: Creation of project page.


by Paul Paslay

System Entry: Project sent for club signatures.


System Entry

System Entry: Project signed by Jennifer Snodgrass.


System Entry

System Entry: Project signed by Katie Johnson.

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