More than just coffee, it’s about giving back to the community

Posted on Oct 22 2021

For a hearty and soulful meal with family and friends, Shirley’s Coffee Shop is always top of the mind. That’s a given. But they do not only nourish hungry tummies or quench thirst; behind the scenes they also do worthwhile projects and practice good community stewardship.

According to operations manager Noelle Reyes, corporate social responsibility is a part of their company’s core values and culture and everyone in the company gets involved. “We’re not just in the business to make money but also to give back to the community. …Shirley’s tries to open an equal chance of volunteering opportunities to its employees whenever possible. No matter what CSR activities or causes the company engages with, we try our best to involve as many employees as we can,” she said.

“All of us are inspired to do outreach in the community and we know that the existence of our business depends largely on the…community,” she added.

During the pandemic, Shirley’s Coffee Shop was on its toes. Reyes said that they continued to do business but with the health and safety of their customers as the No. 1 priority. That included providing masks bearing their company logo to all employees and customers .

“While majority of the restaurants on island had to close due to the COVID scare, Shirley’s remained operating to [provide bento] orders for our front-liners. …We continued our partnership with the CNMI BIBA Program, offering healthier menu items to our customers—menu items that have been approved by our local dieticians,” she said.

Shirley’s Coffee Shop recently partnered with the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers’ Public and Private Partnership program, along with Shirley’s Football Club, to adopt four medians in Garapan. These are the medians across Shirley’s/Century Hotel, D’Torres to Tun Kiku’s Building, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., and the American Memorial Park tennis court.

Reyes said that Shirley’s Coffee Shop has sustained its partnership with he Marianas Visitors Authority by registering both Shirley’s locations with MVA’s Safe Travels Program. This assures its customers that both Shirley’s Coffee Shop locations in the CNMI subscribe to the CNMI government’s health protocols. “As of this October 2021, all employees of Shirley’s Coffee Shop have been fully vaccinated,” she said.

Shirley’s also provides free lawn care to Mount Carmel School, which is adjacent to its Susupe location.

Reyes said that Corporate Social Responsibility is so ingrained in Shirley’s operations that their aim is to always help. That includes donating meals to feed the CNMI’s front-liners—teachers, nurses, veterans, police officers and fire fighters.

“Every year, we strive to complete one to two beach cleanups but for this year, we have committed to adopt and maintain the upkeep of four medians in Garapan via our recent partnership with GCEA’s PPP program. We’ve committed to maintain these four medians, check them every quarter and revamp the areas as needed in the next five years.”

In a nod to the ecological spirit of the times, Shirley’s Coffee Shop is also going green and that includes removal of plastic straws and offering paper straws instead, and using biodegradable package bags instead of plastic bags and containers for take-out.

“We also adhere to paperless ordering and our continuous subscription to a point-of-sale system that enables our dining team to utilize mini-POS tablets,” she said.

Shirley’s Coffee Shop has also partnered with the CNMI BIBA Healthy Program since 2016 in order to serve healthier meals. That includes offering low-calories meal options, removing condiments from the table that could boost sodium intake, and offering dishes that can be modified to have less or no salt.

Bea Cabrera | Correspondent
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.
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