In 2015, Ryan Hurley decided to start a nonprofit that looked a little bit different. Now the acting president of the Board of Directors, Hurley’s idea was to come up with a way to provide a constant stream of revenue for local area charities. He believed the most effective way to do that was by opening a coffee shop with a culture that cultivated generosity. From that idea, Boomerang was born, and to date, the organization has given back more than $90,000 to the community at large.
Boomerang, located in the heart of downtown Vancouver at 808 Main St., Suite B, is focused on building relationships with its customers, the Clark County community and other organizations that are doing amazing things in the area. To mobilize their mission, Boomerang has recently expanded to include not just coffee, but other food and drinks in a friendly, comfortable atmosphere. After being closed briefly earlier this year for a remodel and expansion of the menu, the team at Boomerang is looking forward to seeing how that change will further their mission.
Jill Walker, executive director at Boomerang, said that at the end of August they launched their new soft menu.
“We’re expanding our hours as well as our menu,” Walker said. “We have a delicious food menu now. It will be a great place to have a relaxing night out. We’ll have patio seating with a fire pit for guests to enjoy their s’mores platter and wine. We will be a great place to come and sit by the fire on our patio with some relaxing music in the background and candlelight coming through the window.”
Espresso beans come from Proud Mary Coffee and there are fresh-made pastries, sandwiches and other desserts, including vegan and gluten-free options. The shop also offers on-tap beers, wine and a simple cocktail menu.
Boomerang partners with CoLab Coworking, which has a lease on the whole building, and they are gifting Boomerang’s lease, which means that the shop will be able to give more profits to charities. Boomerang’s profits are allocated on a rotating basis with all proceeds going to local causes in the community and other nonprofits in the area. Some of these charity partners include Dollar For, Share House and The Fish. Currently, Boomerang is partnering with Dollar For, a nonprofit that steps in to help local families that are trying to pay for overwhelming medical expenses.
“We are so excited to partner with Boomerang as their first charity,” said Jared Walker, founder of the Dollar For organization. “This is an opportunity that will not only help us financially but will also help spread our mission and expand our impact throughout Clark County. We are honored to partner with such a generous establishment.”
Boomerang selects established organizations to give back to, but for other places that feel that their mission aligns with what Boomerang is doing, there is an open application process that allows Boomerang to learn more and see if establishing a partnership with them is a good fit.
Looking toward the future, Boomerang plans on co-hosting a variety of community events in the space owned by CoLab called Tandem Hall. In this space, they plan on having candlelit movie nights, holiday parties and latte art competitions regularly. The organization generally keeps two to three employees staffed at a time, but they hope that with the remodeled space and increased business that it will bring, that they will be able to supplement with volunteers.
“Boomerang has served thousands of people since it started,” Jill Walker said. “We are lucky to say that the majority of our business comes from regulars, which makes it a really fun place to be.”