Serving coffee, help to youth for 25 years

The Coffee Oasis, which was founded on the grounds of good coffee and faith-driven service, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Members of the Kitsap community gathered at the first location on Burwell Street in Bremerton July 17 for a barbeque and anniversary sale.

Dave and Cindy Frederick opened the shop in 1997 with the help of funds from their parents. 25 years later, it is the place to go for many youth for as little as a cup of coffee to as much as a new chance in life.

Executive director Daniel Frederick, one of the couple’s four kids, said that it’s crazy to think that so much time has passed. “It’s always a big surprise that we’re 25 years in because I think many are still just finding out about us, even though we’ve been around and have been able to serve so many kids,” he said.

Several programs are offered by the nonprofit, which is supported by 100% of the proceeds from the cafes, which are at various locations in Kitsap County and elsewhere. They include drop-in centers that help supply youth with basic needs such as clothing, hygiene materials and more. Crisis and housing services are also provided to youth who need help or a place to sleep.

“It’s a ministry, you know,” said Tim Lavoie, an engineer in Keyport who has mentored youth at Coffee Oasis. “To me, it’s just a bunch of people doing what they can to help others. I mean, that’s what it’s all about.”

The programs also offer field trips. Aleya White, who works as a volunteer coordinator and case manager at the Tacoma branch, said that her youth got to see a Rainiers AAA baseball game. She loves working with Coffee Oasis and said that position has positively affected her spiritual health.

“Working with the kids that I have worked with has just caused, for me spiritually, to humble myself so much and to recognize that God works in mysterious ways, like ways that we never expected to see,” she said.

Coffee Oasis offers internships for youth looking to get into the workforce and trying to accumulate funds. Lori Vincent, White’s mother, works for Kitsap Mental Health and has sent youth to Coffee Oasis for safety as well as training. She said that “they have a safe place to be, and they can volunteer, and then they can get a job. They get work experience, so they can take that into any other coffee place and also have something to show.”

The theme has remained the same all 25 years, Frederick said. “I hope that from the beginning till now, we’ve been able to show people the goodness of people that take their faith seriously. There’s so many bad examples. We hope to be faithful and show that working both alongside churches and people that don’t even have a faith or love Jesus that we can work together towards a betterment of our neighbors and our community.”

A woman sits at a shaded table outside Coffee Oasis.

A woman sits at a shaded table outside Coffee Oasis.

Barbecue tents sit below the sign pointing to the Coffee Oasis building.

Barbecue tents sit below the sign pointing to the Coffee Oasis building.