Kaladi Brothers baristas to work free for charity Jan. 1

Tegan Hanlon

Emily Fussner of Anchorage has worked at Kaladi Brothers Coffee without pay on New Year's Day for the past two years. She'll do it again in 2014.

Fussner and a number of baristas rotate in two- to four-hour shifts on a day when most of the city shuts down. The volunteer servers will donate their time for charity, working solely for tips. All the company's proceeds from coffee and other drink sales in Anchorage and Wasilla shops on Jan. 1 will go to Children's Lunchbox.

"With Kaladi, they encourage giving back to the community right from being hired," said Fussner, 30, and a three-year Kaladi employee.

Last year, the coffee roaster raised more than $13,000 for Children's Lunchbox, a Bean's Cafe program that serves food to hungry children, said Dale Tran, Kaladi Brothers' chief operating officer. Shell Alaska matched the sum, sending more than $26,000 to the nonprofit. The two businesses will partner again this year.

Donating money from sales on Jan. 1 has been a tradition for more than 20 years at Kaladi Brothers.

"When it started out we just had a few cafes raising a couple thousand dollars, but over the years it definitely has grown," Tran said.

The company has donated to places like the Food Bank of Alaska, Habitat for Humanity and the Kids' Kitchen.

The Kaladi Brothers at the New Sagaya Midtown and City markets will be opened from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. New Year's Day. The other locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Reach Tegan Hanlon at thanlon@adn.com or 257-4589.