Brewpoint Craft Oak Park Hosts Community Food Drive


Tessa Wienss

Brewpoint Craft in Oak Park

Tessa Wienss

A local Oak Park café that’s popular with CUC students recently combined live music and free coffee to collect food donations for the community.  

On Sunday, Sept. 18, Brewpoint Craft Oak Park offered tastes of CBD-infused coffee while local rap artist Since9ine6ix performed laid-back rhymes. Attendees who brought a food item for the Suburban Unity Alliance community fridge received a free ticket for any beverage on the menu. 

The “Drinks & Jams” event celebrated Brewpoint Coffee’s eight-year anniversary since their first café opened in Elmhurst in September 2014.  Their coffee shops previously hosted performances from high school and local musicians, pop-ups for local artists and creatives, and yoga classes. Since Brewpoint’s fourth location in Oak Park launched in May 2021, it has become a go-to spot for locals and CUC students.

The peaceful and positive ambiance makes Brewpoint a comfortable place to study, and it is not uncommon to find students set up doing schoolwork. “The baristas and customers are immensely friendly and allow me to feel at home,” said McKenna Stanley, a CUC sophomore who attended the event.

Brewpoint sells bagged coffee, apparel and other merchandise emblazoned with the slogan: “Our mission is to create a better world through coffee.” 

“Coffee shops are a modern-day watering hole for a community,” said Alyssa O’Neal, the marketing and community manager for Brewpoint Craft Oak Park. “Being a part of a coffee shop is not solely motivated by profit but to create a special place for the community.”

All the donated food went to the Suburban Unity Alliance, an Oak Park non-profit that has worked to promote awareness of discrimination since 2016. Their community fridges help to alleviate food insecurity in the area. The fridge located at the Oak Park public library received three full boxes of food from the Drinks & Jams event. 

Drinks & Jams was sponsored by Oak Park realtor, Timothy Pauldon, who moved to the Oak Park area less than a year ago before quickly becoming a Brewpoint regular. 

Pauldon described how the diversity of the people that come into Brewpoint is part of what made him return again and again. “For me, that makes me feel like, ‘This is really cool, and this is a really welcoming and open space,’” said Pauldon.

Pauldon was inspired to host a food drive and reached out to Brewpoint. “I figured ‘who better to partner with than a staple in the community,’” said Pauldon.

“We saw how strong of a community member Timothy is to Oak Park, and surrounding communities,”  said O’Neal. “It made sense to combine our forces to bring the community together for Drinks & Jams.”

Going forward, Brewpoint hopes to see their core values reflected in the community. Pauldon plans to sponsor more events like Drinks & Jams, and is looking at the Thanksgiving holiday for the next canned food drive.