WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (PIX11) – When most people open a business, they hope to make a good living and pocket whatever profits are made, but this isn’t the case with one married couple in Westchester County who opened a coffee shop last month.
Every time a coffee or other item is purchased from The Pamplemousse Project in White Plains, customers are doing more good for the community than they may know. That’s because owners Lydia and Gary Kris donate 100% of their profit to charity.
Lauren Carasso is a customer.
“I love it,” Carasso said. “It’s such a welcome addition to White Plains and the fact that they give back to our community just makes me feel better about coming here and working and the coffee’s really good, too.”
Lydia and Gary created the “coffee for the community” concept after they sold their small business that manufactured dental equipment. They started this new venture to see the impact they can have firsthand. The couple named the coffee shop after their dog.
“She’s very sweet and loveable, but she has her challenges,” Lydia said. “As we were embarking on this venture, we realized it’s kind of a metaphor for what we’re doing where all communities are wonderful and vibrant but face challenges.”
Any non-political or non-religious nonprofit that serves White Plains or greater Westchester is eligible to receive a grant.
One may wonder, how is their business model sustainable? The donations are collected when profits are made – not revenue.
“After we have paid salaries, expenses, rent, everything else— whatever is left over is what we’re going to give back,” Lydia added.
In addition to coffee and tea, visitors can enjoy pastries, chocolate truffles, or browse the candy wall, where dozens of self-serve options are waiting to satisfy that sweet tooth while indirectly put money back into the area.
Mike Greenspan works in the area.
“This is a place that White Plains has needed for such a long time and now we’ve got a relaxing place with great ambiance, absolutely delicious coffee and I’m really happy that it’s part of our city now,” he said.
Gary and Lydia plan to give out the grants on a quarterly basis, with the customers choosing who it goes to so that the process is fully community-involved. To apply for a grant for your organization, you can fill out the application here.