Tougo Coffee Co. needs YOUR help!

UPDATE: February 21,2011- Both Tougo’s are back in business, but not for long. Tougo Coffee’s downtown store (8th and Westlake) will be closing February 25, for good. The 18th and Union location’s returned to normal business hours earlier this month.

From Brian Wells, owner of Tougo Coffee:

“Good day Facebook friends, family, and community supporters. As you all maybe aware, Mom and Pop coffee houses do not make much money, and in fact more
often than not make no money at all. Tougo Coffee Co. is one of them. It’s more about trying to provide a place to call home outside of the home. A coffee house that welcomes all and acts as a place for community gatherings. To encourage, support, inspire, and be inspired. There is some confusion with the city regarding taxes for our business and we are working with them to sort it all out. They are very wonderful to work with and we are doing everything we can to get our beloved shop re-opend as soon as possible. We are asking each of our friends in this difficult time to dig deep and make a donation of any amount or the equivalent to your weekly visits coffee consumption or more if you are able too. Tougo Coffee Co appreciate all the kind words from our community and it’s really heart felt. This is very, very humbling to me on a number of levels as the past year has been one of trying for sure. Some of you know exactly what I mean 🙂 but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am confident that we can all enjoy our beloved Tougo Coffee Co. in the next couple of days with all the kind words, support and encouragement.


If you want to make a donation we have a PayPal account Tougo Coffee Co LLC”

This comes as extremely sad news for all of us here at Why Not? Coffee. Editor Alex Negranza has worked a few guest bar shifts at Tougo Coffee and had this to say, “Tougo Coffee has to be one of the most community-centric cafes in the
city. The Seattle coffee community will have lost a great deal if Tougo is not able to resume business.”

This is our challenge any barista to help support Tougo Coffee: We at Why Not? Coffee will be donating one day a week’s tips to Tougo to support their continued
business. Seattle residents who donate $100 or more get a session of Accupuncture with the Seattle Wellness Center. We understand that not everyone is able to do this, but we encourage anyone able to support this business to do so. All of us at Why Not? Coffee fully support Tougo and wish you would to. The economy has hurt a lot of us, but we can’t help but feel that no matter what happens we need to be able to support local business and see to it that this truly phenomenal cafe is able to continue
it’s business.

Please help us support Tougo Coffee Co. by pledging whatever you can here on Why Not? coffee, through Tougo’s PayPal, or by contacting Brian Wells at

Why Not?


Categories: Uncategorized


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

7 Comments on “Tougo Coffee Co. needs YOUR help!”

  1. 01/06/2011 at 11:12 pm #

    I’m pledging $50/week of my tips to Tougo for the rest of January.. Anyone else stepping up?

  2. Luigi
    01/07/2011 at 2:56 am #

    The correct e-mail address / PayPal account is

    • 01/07/2011 at 3:13 am #

      Thank you for the correction.

      This post now accurately reflects the correct e-mail and Pay Pal account.


  3. Drew Woods
    01/07/2011 at 3:05 am #

    I’m confused why anyone would think it was a good idea to “donate” money to a for-profit business that has already violated the public trust by failing to pay taxes on their sales. If Mr. Wells can’t keep his books together well enough to get his tax payments in, why should he be trusted with further donation money? It’s a regrettable outcome, but my sympathies are with his employees. I would rather make donations to the unfortunate baristas who are now suddenly out of work, ordered off the job by a badge-brandishing tax man.

    • 01/07/2011 at 3:25 am #


      I personally have trained, employed, and worked alongside the majority of the Tougo Coffee staff. I do not know the series of events that have lead up to this and even if I did, I have no room to judge anyone, any business, or any past decisions that have made today what it is. As this is an unfortunate outcome for the community, the business and Mr. Wells; I do not and will never wish ill will on any of them. Tougo Coffee has a respectable standing in their local community as well as the greater coffee community here in Seattle. I personally will continue to support both the community, the business, Mr. Wells, Tougo Coffee’s employees, their suppliers and anyone else affiliated as they have a positive influence on the specialty coffee community in Seattle.

      I’m sure all of Tougo’s employees would gladly donate your generous donation to them to keep Tougo in business.

      Hope Portland is treating you well.


      • dreww
        01/07/2011 at 3:47 pm #


        Thanks for the kind words.

        I also commend you for your unquestioning generosity. However, I think the portrayal of this situation is disingenuous. A natural disaster has not befallen the coffee shop. Money was collected through the sale of goods, and the taxes on those sales and/or on the payroll of his employees were not paid. Where did that money go?

        The clientele of Tougo and the wider community is essentially being asked to pay Tougo’s taxes for the second time. If that’s the request, that’s fine – but the presentation of this as an unforeseeable calamity undermines the already shaken credibility of the involved parties. What expectation can I have for my potential donation to be effective at restoring Tougo to existence?

        I really hope that the people who work for Tougo would not forward any money on, as they have already paid their taxes on what they earned – to contribute more money would be tantamount to exploitation.

        I really appreciate your impulse to help your friends and community in this situation, but I strongly believe that the help should go to those who were haplessly laid off abruptly through the negligence of their employer.

  4. 01/09/2011 at 8:53 pm #

    Thank you Drew I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

    It’s about me not being diligent enough to watch what my bookkeepers were not doing, not so much about me not wanting to pay taxes. Many small business owners have had the same, or similar trials. It’s about learning from it and not making the same mistakes.

    My baristi are as dedicated as they ever have been and are still working as I am to keep it moving. My team is amazing I would got to bat for them, and they are going to bat for the community of Tougo Coffee Co.

    Drew,  with all sincerity I appreciate your post as this has opened my eyes. Yes Tougo Coffee is a “for profit” but as you know most shops make just enough to stay afloat. If want to hear directly from me, the “deal” you know how to reach me. You’ve been to the shop and had many O cups on the house.

    Thanks Drew and Barista Alex.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: