Facing the closure of their coffee shop when the space they lease went up for sale, Cameron and Pete Moores turned to the community they’ve built over 15 years in West Seattle and asked for help.
What they received in return floored the the couple: Through a combination of a GoFundMe campaign, advice from local finance, and real estate experts, and additional help from longtime customers, the couple now expects to be able to purchase the $1.2 million property and keep the coffee flowing at C&P Coffee.
“It was the most miraculous thing I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Cameron Moores said Friday. “It was a combination of the community helping to fund us and professions (that) helped us and community leaders. I mean it was the biggest group effort that you can possibly imagine.”
Moores said as the momentum to save the shop built over the past month, she and her husband Pete began to realize that to the people who pitched in time, money and emotional support, the coffee shop represented much more than a quality latte.
“They made a statement about something that’s really important to us,” she said. “And Pete and I came to understand that it’s so not about C&P; it’s about what people want for their communities to be, a place to come together, a place to share, a place to meet new people.”
They hope to close on the real estate deal very soon.
In rapidly developing Seattle where the narrative most often is about older businesses dying under the weight of new development, Moores understands that saving a business in this manner is a rare occurrence.
“We are lucky,” she said. “We know.”
The Moores don’t plan to change the property much. The business on the 5,600 block of California Avenue operates out of an historic home. On their fundraiser page, Moores called the building a center of gravity in the neighborhood.
“This place has become a center for our community and we are determined to save it. Which means putting in a bid to buy, and the asking price is beyond our means.”
Moores said she hopes that this leads to greater successes elsewhere in the effort to preserve the spaces that bind a neighborhood.
“I’ve met so many people (now) who are having these conversations in their own neighborhood and I am excited to see where it leads,” she said.