The GSBA Blog


New Business of the Year: 701 Coffee

| Feb 06, 2017

Sara Mae Brereton and Rachel Brereton, Co-Owners
The GSBA Business & Humanitarian Awards honor businesses and business leaders who are successful, exemplify the highest standards of their profession, promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace, demonstrate leadership and invest time and resources into their community.

The 2016 New Business of the Year is 701 Coffee.

701 Coffee opened its doors two years ago in the Central District as a community-oriented and inclusive gathering place for the neighborhood. Owners Sara Mae and Rachel Brereton wanted to be the kind of business they preferred to patronize, one where all customers are treated with respect and compassion. Many of their customers are LGBT and some are homeless. Having experienced homelessness themselves, they knew what it felt like to be turned away, treated as invisible. As a result, they’ve served many homeless youth on the house, no questions asked, no judgments made. They were proud to have worked their way out of being homeless, into being business owners and wanted to “pay it forward”. Within a year of opening, construction on 23rd Avenue nearly shuttered the shop. The massive roadwork along this vibrant arterial had a devastating financial impact on all of the business in the path of construction – most of them minority owned neighborhood small businesses. With the grit it takes to work your way out of homelessness while raising four children, the Breretons led the community action effort in 2016, demanding compensation from the City of Seattle for losses resulting in $685,000 (approximately $25,000 per store) paid to the businesses impacted by the construction. Still holding strong at 23rd and Cherry, their innovation continues as they launching a second venture, homemade cashew cheese.

GSBA Business & Humanitarian Awards | Feb 16 | Seattle Marriott Waterfront
Learn more about the Awards and Recipients here.