— White Center
Dubsea Coffee, an independent coffeehouse serving organic and direct trade coffees and teas, will open its doors at 9910 Eighth Ave. S.W. at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14. The cafe will be the first retail business to open at Greenbridge, the 96-acre master-planned community being developed by the King County Housing Authority.
“What better way to build on the vision of Greenbridge than to offer a warm, comfortable destination where people from all walks of life can share great coffee and conversation,” said Stephen Norman, executive director of the King County Housing Authority. “Dubsea Coffee will also provide much-needed jobs in this community.”
Dubsea Coffee is located on south side of the Greenbridge plaza in the newly constructed Salmon Creek apartment building and across the street from Nia Apartments, an 82-unit complex that houses seniors and people with disabilities. To celebrate, the first 250 customers will receive a free 12-ounce drink, courtesy of Synergy Construction, Inc., the company that built the Salmon Creek building.
The cafe is the brainchild of Sibelle Nguyen, who sees her shop as a place where civic interaction can take place. She hopes Dubsea Coffee will be a hub for coffee, art and inspiration at Greenbridge and in the White Center community.
“Being open and loving — and inspiring each other to be that way — is what I hope this space will achieve,” Nguyen said. “There’s so much going on in this community that I want Dubsea to be a catalyst for fostering connections and friendships. I want to offer a place that fills residents with a sense of pride.”
The space is a reflection of this sentiment. With its simple, clean lines, cerulean blue ceiling, celadon green concrete floor, scored oak bar, and tall window banks defining its perimeter, the interior of the coffee shop evokes an airy, natural vibe. It’s also consistent with the attributes of the award-winning Greenbridge community, which has been certified as Three-Star Built Green™ by the Master Builders of King and Snohomish Counties and features a number of creative approaches to environmental sustainability.
Dubsea Coffee will serve organic and direct trade (even more socially responsible than fair trade) Stumptown coffee, organic Rishi teas, hot chocolate and chai. A variety of baked goods from Little Rae’s Bakery, Macrina Bakery & Cafe, and High 5 Pies will be featured as well as breakfast items including bagels, granola, and yogurt. Sandwiches and Boylan sodas will also be offered.
“Stumptown looks to source and roast the best quality coffee in a socially and environmentally responsible way,” said Luke Dirks, sales and wholesale account manager at Stumptown Coffee. “We’re delighted to provide our products to Dubsea Coffee, which embodies an enviable business model: It’s an approachable cafe where fabulous, high quality drinks will be served, and it’s a place that will create a lasting, uplifting impact in its local community.”
Beyond coffee and comestibles, the coffeehouse features gallery space for local artists. Dubsea Coffee will debut with “Fractured Parables” by Joerael Elliott, Dubsea’s art director, and plans to feature the work of about a dozen artists per year. Free wireless Internet will also be available.
Though she grew up in Edmonds, Wash., Nguyen has strong ties to the neighborhood. As a toddler, she lived for a brief time at Park Lake Homes, the now demolished former public housing community that Greenbridge has since replaced. As a young woman, Nguyen returned to work as an AmeriCorps volunteer at Neighborhood House at Park Lake Homes. Now a resident of White Center once again, she is eager to fulfill her dream of owning a coffee shop here.
Even the name Dubsea Coffee is a kind of homage to the neighborhood residents. At one time, White Center was considered by many outside the area to be an undesirable place to live. Those living in White Center often felt otherwise. To overcome its (unfair) negative reputation yet still identify with their neighborhood, residents took to calling their community “W” (Dub) “C” (Sea) – an affectionate nickname for White Center.
Nguyen is already making a difference in the community; she has hired a Greenbridge resident and a White Center resident as baristas-in-training.
Bryant Sim, the Greenbridge resident, is a 16-year-old Evergreen High School student who will work part-time at the cafe. “Coffee is really interesting to me – and this job is really close to home, so I can walk to work,” Sim said. “This is also my first paid work experience. It’s a great opportunity because it will help prep me financially for college.”
Greenbridge residents are excited by the prospect of a coffee shop in their neighborhood, said Tim Locke, president of the Greenbridge Association. “Dubsea Coffee is an ideal business for Greenbridge,” said Locke. “It will offer a fantastic product, local jobs, and a lively environment with art and music. It’s a perfect fit.”
Dubsea Coffee is open from 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and from 6 a.m.–7 p.m. Monday through Friday.