Friends Coffee & Tea: Yes, We Are Back!! 

By Anvi Kalucha, FCSN Youth Reporter

Friends Coffee & Tea has been temporarily closed since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 shelter in place order. However, being temporarily closed does not mean that it is derelict—on the contrary, the break gave Friends time to work on its foundational business elements and infrastructure such as improving the website, making its social media platform more engaging, and producing a motivational video. 

Filmed in August 2020, Friends’ promotional video, now on the front page of the website, gives viewers a glimpse into the cafe shop that operated under the auspices of FCSN and provided employment training for special needs individuals. The video also provides viewers with a behind-the-scenes look into a typical work day in the life of the cafe and the services provided. Precautions were taken during filming to ensure safety during COVID-19.

After 17 months of being temporarily closed due to the pandemic, Friends Coffee & Tea finally reopened on July 19, 2021. 

The reopening signifies that the store must be prepared from the ground up, just like opening a new store. The effort is no less than launching a brand new store. 

To celebrate this grand reopening, Friends Coffee & Tea adds many new fun drinks & pastries to our menu along with all the popular drinks it had before. 

  1. Mango Sago: As its exotic name suggests, this drink is a popular summer time dessert in the tropics, mainly in Asia. Friends Coffee & Tea serves it with a special touch: combination of yummy, chewy pearl sagos and fresh, succulent mango slices. A must-try for this seasonal feast is here for everybody ! 
  2. Sicilian Sparkling Lemon Coffee: Nothing can be compared to the marriage of lemon sparkling water with aromatic dark roast coffee. Andiamo, il compagno !
  3. Summer Paradise: This drink inspires a new tag line It Takes Three to Tango !  A trio of  watermelon, passion fruit, and basil seed that embarks an unforgettable summer time for you ! 
  4. Four Phases of Crescent:  It is well known that a flaky croissant is the best mate for a cup of coffee to kick start your busy work day. Therefore, we present this fantastic quadruplet to wake up  your palate after a long overnight slumber: Almond Croissant, Chocolate Croissant, Matcha Green Tea Croissant & Coconut Croissant, plan your work days ahead with a good mouthful ! 
  5. Rolls of the East: Asian bun is famous for its heartwarming tenderness and savory taste. Come and enjoy those mian baos to resuscitate your adventurous heart like surfing in Pacific waves !

Beyond serving a variety of pastries and coffee, Friends features gift items available for purchase. “Our coffee shop not only serves drinks and sandwiches. We are more like a store introducing special needs individuals’ special abilities and talents to customers.”  In the sitting area where customers are able to sip their drinks and chat, the shelves are stocked with soaps, ceramic mugs, T-shirts  and  a variety of handicrafts and artworks created by special needs individuals. 

To boost publicity, Friends Coffee & Tea has been investing in its social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. Resourced by FCSN youth volunteers, the store’s social media now is enriched with frequent postings with a fair amount of vivid pictures that detail upcoming events and sales highlights. With more social media footprints, Friends Coffee & Tea hopes it shall expand store appeal to a wide range of customers across age groups and business categories:  kids, adults, businesses, and corporations, all of which have the need in catering for drinks and sandwiches.

With its interactive and detailed website, Friends Coffee & Tea seeks to provide an improved customer experience and build ongoing relationships with customers who will spread the word about its delicious coffees, teas, and menu items while supporting a business that integrates special needs individuals into their community and provides essential job training. 

“We want our coffee shop to be a feel-good place where customers can treat themselves to a relaxing cup while making a difference to the special needs community, since our shop offers on the job training for special needs individuals,” says Roxana. 

Friends Coffee & Tea is located at 1029 S. Bascom Ave. in San Jose, CA.

To contact Friends Coffee & Tea, please visit the website at http://www.friendscoffeetea.com.

Or by phone: (408) 725-8811

Or by email: coffeeshop@fcsn1996.org

Hours are Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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