Founded in 2003, Singing Out Against Hunger was created to provide nutritious food for our neighbors in need and to raise awareness of their ongoing plight. In cooperation with local merchants, volunteer musicians, and civic-minded people, Singing Out Against Hunger raises thousands of dollars each year through free musical events, raffles, and donations. “We believe that self-expression, through music and the arts, a volunteer spirit, and the talents of individuals will help to rid the East Bay communities of hunger”.
Since their inception, SOAH has raised more than $165,000 and has provided over 100,000 pounds of food to community food banks and suppliers. Their impact has aided over 3,500 households and over 5,000 individuals in the East Bay area.
Each year, Singing Out hosts free, local concerts for the enjoyment of the community, while raising money and showcasing local merchants & musicians. This year, SOAH will be hosting their free concert series at Evelyn’s Drive-In, as well as events at The Sakonnet Collective, Coastal Roasters, Art Cafe and South Shore Beach just to name a few venues. “You may think that food insecurity isn’t a factor in the neighborhood that you live in, yet 1 in 6 children are living in poverty right here in Rhode Island”. Hunger affects the old, the young, single individuals & family’s alike. Come support this grassroots organization, enjoy an afternoon of fun, all for an amazing cause!
It’s just about 4 in the afternoon, the sun is winding its way down behind the Sakonnet river, illuminating drifting boats and choppy waters in a golden yellow, while the god-given smell of roasting coffee is warning people like fog horns of a freshly roasted round of coffee beans. This is the inhalable story of Coastal Roasters…
A small coffee shop with a sturdy foundation, Coastal Roasters was founded in 2002 by Donald Machado and his partner Lisa when they decided to purchase the small surf shop overlooking the Sakonnet River. Before then, Donald knew only a little about coffee, spending his free time “home-roasting” for friends and family using a popcorn popper and zest for good quality. When the itch to broaden his horizons became too much to bear, the couple bought the Tiverton property, fixed it up a little, and started a business selling wholesale coffee beans. Thankfully, Donald invested in something a little bigger than a popcorn maker for Coastal Roasters, which quickly evolved into the area’s most visited cafe, as the smell of coffee crept into the heart of the coastal town. “I underestimated how many people are interested in quality coffee,” said Donald, but that was what he knew then.
Now Coastal Roasters is a mega coffee gathering place, roasting daily, over 50,000lbs of coffee a year and featuring over 20 unique blends of bean. “We don’t do a lot of tutti frutti stuff,” says Donald, “we try to stick to just coffee.” And good coffee besides; 70% of their beans are organic or Fair Trade and all of it brewed with respect for the environment and the farmers that grow the beans. Concentrating on quality and sustainable production has given the shop a cultured reputation for “being green,” drawing in true coffee lovers for miles and miles.
“We have to be at the right place doing the right thing, at the right time, which is kind of a niche,” says Donald who sources, roasts, and packages the beans. The beans themselves arrive from mostly small farms in exotic locations all over the world, and although they honor basic regional coffee blends, Coastal Roasters has expanded their inventory over the years to meet customer needs. Teas, smoothies, frozen drinks, and nearby bakery selections are on the menu, as well as custom blends like Wild Wetamoo, Fort Baron, Coastal Gold, and Old Stone Bridge. Keeping in local is all part of the plan.
Coastal Roasters has also become part of a larger campaign for educating the masses, not just about coffee, but community values that extend beyond the roaster. They sponsor a range of fund and awareness-raising events like Singing Out Against Hunger, which raised over 60,000 last year, in conjunction with Evelyn’s Drive In, for providing healthy meals to local families in need. Other beneficiaries include the Little Compton Community Center, Allen’s Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust, Sakonnet Growers Market, and the Tiverton Four Corners Arts Center.
The most gratifying ambition of Coastal Roasters is their mission to educate about coffee: where it comes from and what it supposed to taste like. “Some people don’t realize beans need to be roasted,” says Donald. There’s a whole world of coffee out there, beyond the bag. If you want to know the secret to the Coastal Roasters taste, it’s in the roasting. They roast in small batches, and often. And oh, what a delicious smell…
As all good businesses do, Coastal Roasters has continued to expand, these days, through the main roads of cyber space. Online coffee sales are a new vessel for acquiring fresh beans, and Coastal Roasters recently launched online ordering on their website. Donald has seen immediately the benefits of reaching a larger demographic, sending off to customers from Florida to the West coast. Perhaps more exciting for the consumer is Coastal Roaster’s Coffee of the Month Club, an impeccably convenient way to familiarize yourself with regional blends, or to stay at home in your pjs. A unique blend of coffee arrives on your doorstep (or a friend’s if you so choose) once a month to be savored each morning, afternoon, or night.
But don’t let us sway you, stop by Coastal Roasters where “the coffee speaks for itself.”
Open year round, 6am-5pm at 1791 Main Rd. Tiverton RI.