Food & Drink

Kaladi Brothers' Jan. 1 donations continue with hopes for a record year

Kaladi Brothers Coffee will be open on New Year's Day and, per tradition, donate all its sales to an Alaska charity.

But this year -- Kaladi's 25th year of Jan. 1 donations -- the program is getting a big boost. For every dollar in Kaladi sales, eight dollars in total will be donated to the Children's Lunchbox. Based on last year's sales, the coffee company hopes to raise about $120,000 for the children's meal charity, the most ever for the event.

Kaladi chief marketing officer Dale Tran said that a few other businesses -- GCI, First National Bank Alaska, and the Saltchuk family of companies including TOTE Maritime, Northern Air Cargo and Carlile -- will match Kaladi sales that day. The Rasmuson Foundation will then match those contributions again.

"That's huge for the Children's Lunchbox," Tran said.

Last year, Kaladi raised $31,500 for the Abused Women's Aid in Crisis shelter, the most money they've ever raised on Jan. 1. Shell, which recently ceased operations in Alaska, matched contributions dollar for dollar last year.

Tran said that with Shell gone, it was unclear this fall who would take over the program. But the new partners will allow the company to consider a much larger fundraising goal.

Lisa Sauder, executive director of Bean's Café, which operates the Children's Lunchbox program, said the donation will help finish a $1.9 million facility for the program.


She said Children's Lunchbox is currently feeding hundreds of children each week using a 300-square-foot kitchen in Mountain View that doesn't even have an oven. The new location will allow the program to expand into 4,000 square feet of space that includes a commercial kitchen and food storage.

Sauder said the organization was "honored and appreciative."

"It won't cover everything, but it will cover a great deal," she said.

Eleven Kaladi cafés will be open across the state from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, including in Wasilla and Soldotna. Tran said people can also make donations online, which will also be matched.

Suzanna Caldwell

Suzanna Caldwell is a former reporter for Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in 2017.