Sunday coffee gathering will benefit nonprofits

Published 4:30 pm Friday, November 23, 2018

There’s nothing quite like a lazy Sunday morning and a good cup of coffee. The only thing that could make it better is being able to do some good in the community at the same time.

This December and January, area residents can do just that. At the Contemporary Art Exchange, the gallery, in conjunction with area nonprofits, will host a Sunday morning coffee shop called “On Common Grounds.”

Each Sunday, the coffee shop will benefit a different nonprofit, offering those who drop in a chance to support specific projects that will improve lives in our community.

The idea for “On Common Grounds” came about in conversations between Contemporary Art Exchange owner Tina Jandrow and Robert Greene Sands, director of the Pamlico Rose Institute for Sustainable Communities.

“What we decided to do was to kind of replace the whole coffee social thing that left with the Coffee Caboose,” Jandrow said. “We’re going to make this a Sunday Social where folks can come in from seven to noon and it’s a different organization every week.”

Confirmed nonprofits partnering with the gallery include Eagle’s Wings Food Pantry, the Pamlico Rose Institute for Sustainable Communities, Open Door Community Center and Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina. The first event on Dec. 9 will benefit the Red Cross, with a full schedule to be announced at a later date. “On Common Grounds” will also open on Dec. 16 and every Sunday in January.

In addition to providing a relaxed atmosphere for socialization and benefiting good causes, Jandrow and Sands hope to see the Sunday morning coffee experience yield something else — meaningful conversations and increased awareness of nonprofit missions.

“Coffee shops have always been this place for people to come and relax, read the paper, or engage in conversations with those who they know or people they don’t know,” Sands said. “That is something that attracted us to this idea. There’s always a chance to start with small conversations and make them grow into larger conversations.”

With tables for sitting, newspapers for reading and no Wi-Fi available, visitors to On Common Grounds will be in a position to talk face-to-face and share ideas.

“The only Wi-Fi during that time will be for the music,” Jandrow said. “So after that, you either have to use your own cellular or talk to the person across the table from you. We’re hoping for the opportunity to sit here and connect.”

The beverage selection at the shop will consist of brewed coffee, hot teas and cocoa, with pastry selection varying week by week. While there will be no set prices for food or drink, donations are encouraged and gratefully accepted, with all funds raised benefiting the featured nonprofit of the week. Volunteers representing each nonprofit will serve as baristas during the event.

For more information, contact Robert Greene Sands at