• What countries are your trainees from? 

The Bay Area is home to one of the United States’ most diverse refugee communities! To date, we have trained people from over 29 countries. 

  • Where are your training programs located? 

Currently, our program takes place in Oakland and Seattle, with plans to expand to other cities with a robust coffee scene and a large refugee population.  Interested in helping us grow to your area?  Let us know by filling out the form at the bottom. 

  • How many people have you trained so far? 

As of July 2019, we have graduated 175 baristas from our barista training program. 

  • How do you recruit potential trainees? 

We accept referrals from community members, refugee resettlement agencies, and other non-profits that work with the refugee community. Many of our trainees are friends and family members of graduates. Click here to apply 

  • Does your program require English fluency? 

No, we don’t require English fluency! Our trainees have a wide range of familiarity with English, and our program is designed to be a hands-on educational experience that presents all English language learners with new tools needed to find a job in the coffee industry. Click here to see the requirements for participating in our program. 

  • How much does the training program cost for trainees? 

Our training program is free. We are able to offer it at no cost thanks to generous grants from the Starbucks Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, and Regeneration Church.  

  • How do you financially support the training program?

As a non-profit, proceeds from our cafes, donations from individuals, and contributions by public and private foundations enable us to offer our training classes for free. 

  • Do all graduates of 1951’s program work at one of your cafes? 

At any given time, our two Berkeley cafes are staffed with 20-25 of our program graduates. In addition to opportunities at our cafes, we also connect graduates with opportunities at one of our amazing cafe partners.
The goal of our program is to prepare graduates to work in the greater coffee industry. Although we love having them work in our own cafes, we are not trying to compete with other companies - instead, we are training a pool of hard working and committed baristas to help the industry grow.

  • I work in the coffee industry. How can I hire a graduate of 1951’s program? 

Thanks for your interest! Please fill out a contact form here, and our employment specialist will be in touch soon. 

  • Do you take donations for the program? 

Yes we do! Click here to donate money. If you would like to donate coffee beans or other supplies to the training program, fill out the form below.

  • As a community member, can I attend or observe the training program? 

Yes, you can come see the training program in action at one of our Open Houses. There, you can get a free cup of coffee and have a chance to meet and mingle with our current barista trainees. 


Still have questions? Looking to donate supplies?

Drop us a line and we will get back to you.

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