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Twin sisters use brewing business to collect donations for Buffalo's East Side

"Everything we do we want to leave the world better than we came into it," Alisa Officer said.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Twin sisters who own one of the only coffee shops on Buffalo's East Side are now using their business as a hub for donations to help those who are hurting.

Twin sisters, Alicia and Alisa Officer are helping, one cup at a time.

"We have always supported Black and Brown communities, not just within the Buffalo region. Our coffee is sourced from farmers who typically have to work second jobs in order to feed their families," said Alisa Officer.

This is not a new concept for them.

"We were raised this way. Our grandmother, our mother, our father, they have always raised us to think beyond ourselves and I truly mean the impact that 'I was here, I did something with my team on this earth,'" she said.

Their new business, Unapologetic Coffee, provides affordable coffee to this community, which also happens to be a food desert. It is also a few blocks away from the Tops grocery store on Jefferson Avenue. After the mass shooting, they didn't want to stand there and do nothing.

"And we looked at each other, and took a hard look and said what can we do to help," Alicia Officer said.

"By chance, some of the members of Community Fridge were popping into the shop Sunday after everything occurred. Truth be told, we didn't even know if we wanted to open that day, you know for our own safety. But we woke up, we looked at each other, and said this is something people can't stop us from doing. We have to keep living and we have to keep thriving and in an African American community, we cant run scared," Alisa Officer said.

"So we open the shop up and a flood of people came in and bought coffee, but not only that, we had a great conversation and within that conversation, they were expressing that they can't fit all of their donations in all of their community fridges. Well, my twin sister and I said, 'well, we have a ton of space.'"

That's how the partnership with Buffalo Community Fridge started. They're looking for donations of milk, eggs, cheese, fresh food items, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. They are also collecting detergent, baby formula, and cat and dog food. 

You can drop these items off at the coffee shop during normal business hours, and the Community Fridge with then distribute them to those in need. It's a way for people to help and to help this community heal.

"We thought this is just important for us. There is no reason that we can't keep moving forward with our same mission and vision, that we have already adopted. Everything we do we want to leave the world better than we came into it," Alisa Officer said.

This is an ongoing effort for the sisters.

They say they will continue to take donations as long as they have the space to store items. One thing to keep in mind, most people receiving these donations walk or take the bus, so they can't carry large items. So, make sure you bring a smaller quantity.

Unapologetic Coffee is located on Main Street in Buffalo. They are open on Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


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