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Copper Kettle Coffee Bar: A Hidden Oasis With Local Treats

March 24, 2022 - by Sandy Vo

Copper Kettle Coffee Bar:
A Hidden Oasis With Local Treats

Outside view of Shorts House

In the depths of the Bellevue Botanical Garden lies the Shorts House. The story began in 1981 when Cal and Harriet Shorts donated their estate to the City of Bellevue with the provision that it remain a public park. The property now features warm and cozy seating, a garden resource library, and since 2016, the unique Copper Kettle Coffee Bar. Owner Christina Dong said her coffee bar offers more than a typical coffee shop.

“When people are venturing through the Bellevue Botanical Garden, they often stumble upon us by mistake and it turns into a pleasant surprise for visitors,” she said. “I think we offer more than just food and drinks, we offer an experience.”

Dong has worked in Downtown Bellevue for more than a decade. She explained that as Copper Kettle Coffee Bar grows with the city, it still has its own comfortable personality.

“People who come here aren’t in a hurry, they’re here to relax and enjoy the view around them,” Dong said. “Sometimes, people are looking to slow down--we’re here to give them a space to do that.”

Patrons enjoying offerings from Copper Kettle Coffee Bar

During the pandemic, Dong said more people looked for a nature experience and exploration. The Bellevue Botanical Garden saw an increase in foot traffic, and in turn, the Copper Kettle Coffee Bar became popular. She said her sales grew nearly 50% even with closed indoor seating.

“We adapted and turned our coffee bar into a drive-thru where people could walk up to our window, order their items and we’d bring it to them,” she said. “The main people we see around here are retired, older people--perhaps they’re immunocompromised. We wanted them to feel safe and still give them that same experience, so they didn’t feel left out.”

While lush trees and mesmerizing plants are a great incentive to visit the coffee bar, Dong said her local Northwest products, including coffee shipped from Sleepy Monk in Cannon Beach, and the variety of neighborhood eats are worth the hype. Dong supports many small businesses in the Greater Seattle area, including Macrina Bakery, Big Apple Bagels, Macadons, Sweet Alchemy Ice Creamery and others. She explained that it's gratifying using local products because it's helping others like her. 

Menu items from the coffee bar

“I like the community-sense and being an entrepreneur. I have this awesome opportunity to bring small businesses together in a space and share it with other people,” Dong said.

In addition to selling local products, Dong is a massive supporter of local charities. During the pandemic, she created a 'lemon aid' drink where 100% of the profit went to a different organization every month. In total, she donated to eight charities around the area.

“I think we’re supposed to be more than what we stand for as a business, “ Dong said. "We’re not just a coffee place, we’re a place to support others, a place to relax and we’re a place to uplift businesses around us. I’m proud to be all those things.”

To learn more about what Copper Kettle Coffee Bar offers and new items coming up, visit their website for more information!

This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.


Copper Kettle Coffee Bar
12001 Main St
Bellevue, WA 98005

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