About Us

Bean's Cafe History

Vision of Bean's Cafe

Bean’s Cafe began with a simple vision: Create a place where people in need can find comfort, warmth, and a helping hand. Professor and humanitarian, Lynn Ballew, founded our organization with this vision in mind.

1977
Bean's Cafe is Born

In 1977, Lynn and her daughter (nicknamed Bean) moved to Alaska. Two years later in 1979, Lynn leased an empty warehouse to serve as a day shelter for people who were hungry and homeless. A team of volunteers - including individuals experiencing homelessness - stepped in to help paint and remodel the facility. The empty warehouse was transformed into a center where people without homes could come to eat, rest, read, watch TV, make phone calls, and just relax. The center was dubbed Bean’s Cafe.

1985
Bean's Expands

In 1985, organizational growth and support from the community presented Bean’s Cafe with the opportunity to relocate to a brand-new facility right in the heart of downtown, allowing for further advancement of our programs and services.

2004
The Children's Lunchbox

In 1998, Kid's Cafe, a non-profit organization feeding at risk children in the Anchorage area, was in search of a stable, responsible board of directors.  Bean's Cafe immediately realized that their mission of feeding the hungry should extend to children of our community.  This sparked a vision of "prevention" and Kid's Cafe became a program of Bean's Cafe.  In 2004, Kid's Cafe was renamed The Children's Lunchbox.

2020
Pandemic Response

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented needs for both food and shelter. Bean’s Cafe responded to requests to help meet these needs. We operated a temporary shelter where we provided 24-hour support for up to 400 people per day.

2023
Feeding More Families Than Ever

In 2023, we purposefully began utilizing one of our larger buildings, renovated the kitchen and expanded our warehouse to create what is now the third largest commercial kitchen in Alaska. With the fully renovated kitchen and larger warehouse, we now have the capacity to feed up to 1,200 children and adults each day and store up to 40,000 pantry packs at a time. 2023 also saw the addition of a new venture for Bean’s through a therapeutic community that we call Streets to Success.   While we are committed to continuing our efforts to meet emergencies and feed those in need, we recognize the importance of addressing the root causes of homelessness. 

The Mission Continues

Bean’s Cafe has served the Anchorage community continuously and has grown significantly during the last 45 years. We moved to better-equipped facilities within the community to enable us to expand the range of services we provide. Bean’s Cafe will continue to fight hunger for all ages, one meal at a time, while also providing dignified pathways to self-sufficiency.

Vision of Bean's Cafe

Bean’s Cafe began with a simple vision: Create a place where people in need can find comfort, warmth, and a helping hand. Professor and humanitarian, Lynn Ballew, founded our organization with this vision in mind.

1977
Bean's Cafe is Born

In 1977, Lynn and her daughter (nicknamed Bean) moved to Alaska. Two years later in 1979, Lynn leased an empty warehouse to serve as a day shelter for people who were hungry and homeless. A team of volunteers - including individuals experiencing homelessness - stepped in to help paint and remodel the facility. The empty warehouse was transformed into a center where people without homes could come to eat, rest, read, watch TV, make phone calls, and just relax. The center was dubbed Bean’s Cafe.

1985
Bean's Expands

In 1985, organizational growth and support from the community presented Bean’s Cafe with the opportunity to relocate to a brand-new facility right in the heart of downtown, allowing for further advancement of our programs and services.

2020
Pandemic Response

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented needs for both food and shelter. Bean’s Cafe responded to requests to help meet these needs. We operated a temporary shelter where we provided 24-hour support for up to 400 people per day. We also launched our Children’s Lunchbox program in 2020. Through this program, we provide boxed meals for entire families.

2023
Feeding More Families Than Ever

In 2023, we shifted operations to our larger building, expanded our warehouse and fully renovated our kitchen which now stands as the third largest commercial kitchen in Alaska. With the fully renovated kitchen and larger warehouse, we now have the capacity to feed up to 1,200 children and adults each day and store up to 40,000 shelf- stable pantry packs at a time. 2023 also saw the addition of a new venture for Bean’s through a therapeutic community. While we are committed to continuing our efforts to meet emergency needs and feed those in need, we recognize the importance of addressing the root causes of homelessness. For this reason, 2023 also saw the official launch of our Streets to Success program.

The Mission Continues

Bean’s Cafe has served the Anchorage community continuously and has grown significantly during the last 45 years. We moved to better-equipped facilities within the community to enable us to expand the range of services we provide. Bean’s Cafe will continue to fight hunger for all ages, one meal at a time, while also providing dignified pathways to self-sufficiency.

Our Team

Our Team

Adminstration Staff

Scott Lingle, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

  907.433.8601 | slingle@beanscafe.org

Fony Imawan, Finance Manager

  907.433.8620 | finance@beanscafe.org

Cassie Lingle, Human Resources Manager

  907.297.5606 | hr@beanscafe.org

Kate Matheson, Director of Development & Community Relations

  907.433.8604 | kmatheson@beanscafe.org

Aaron Dollison, Food Services Operations Manager

  907.917.9080 | adollison@beanscafe.org

Amber Morrison-Waters, Program Manager – Support Services

  907.310.5384 | amwaters@beanscafe.org

Christine McLeod, Executive Assistant

  907.433.8601 | cmcleod@beanscafe.org


  

Board of Directors

  • Chairperson, Jonathan Hornak, Cornerstone Construction
  • Vice Chair, Debbie Reinwand-Mcguire, Brilliant Media
  • Secretary, Teresa Jacobsson, JW Industries Group/AK Tribal Administrators Assoc.
  • Treasurer, Carol Gore
  • Kim Frensley, First National Bank Alaska
  • Ella Anagick, Law Offices of Ella Anagick
  • Rosie Barr
  • Brook Goss, Retired Anchorage Fire Department/EMS
  • Jamie McGrady, Federal Public Defender
  • Dave M. Valdez, COO Alaska Wealth Advisors

Contact Us

 

 

Bean’s Cafe Administration Offices

1020 E. 4th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501

907.433.8601

info@beanscafe.org

Bean’s Cafe Kitchen and Warehouse

1524 Ship Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501