Our Dillanos Story

GoodRoots Northwest / July 22, 2022

Coffee anyone?

In October of 2021, I met the one and only Amy Burke, Culture and Community Ambassador for Dillanos. She heard about our story and scheduled a tour with me to see our new location (that’s just miles from her home).

Amy is one of those people that wears her energy and you can see exactly how she’s experiencing the world around her. She’s genuine and kind, honest, and … she’s electric. That electricity, when mixed with all her other attributes, makes her impossible not to fall in love with.

Amy was excited by our new approach to fighting food insecurity and was visibly moved. She told me that she was bringing her team and her CEO to meet us and I could see the lightbulb in her going off in real time as she literally sprung into action as we walked out to her car.

She told me she had some ideas and she’d get back to me shortly. And she did….


Amy called me the next day with a company-wide food drive concept for the holidays. She divided each department into teams and gave them items to focus on. Then she set up a contest challenge with the Co-CEO, David Morris, where if the staff collected 5000 lbs of food, he’d need to match it with a $5000 check and deliver it to me personally.

Challenge accepted!!

So of course they exceeded that goal, a check was delivered, and they became the proud recipients of our prestigious Golden Gobble. Upon delivering our $5000 check David looked at me and said

“When does this become the national model?”

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On Dec 1 2021, after an epic food drive, Amy reached out again with her famous words:

“I have another idea.”

She explained how their entire staff had bonded with our message of dignity and creating a grocery store experience, and they wanted to complete that vision with our own brand of coffee. They would grind it fresh, put it in custom-designed packaging, and deliver it weekly on one of their routes.

I was speechless.

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Later in December, Tiffany and I went down for a tour, and at the end of the tour we entered one of the many plush employee lounge areas.

Our branded coffee was sitting on the huge white granite island and I had a moment. Only one year previous, Tiffany and I were in an old building fighting to keep up with the need … and here we were at Dillanos with our own brand of coffee. It felt like some sort of system glitch.

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January of 2022 I get a text from Amy, who now keeps tabs on us regularly to make sure we have everything we need. And you guessed it … she had another idea.

She decided that having our own brand still didn’t complete the vision how she wanted it to. She felt like providing freshly brewed coffee to our customers while they shopped was the ultimate expression of dignity and access. It made things special, and she knew how I liked our customers to feel special.

And herein lies Amy’s genius as a marketer. She approached me with a concept that took both our organization’s cultures and matched them up perfectly. I found a buffet at the Old Cannery that fit this space in our Market perfectly and suited both our brands. And this week we launched ...

The Community Cafe

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