Adda Coffee & Tea House has always aspired, since the company’s very start in 2016, to be so much more than a place for your caffeine fix. Adda is a Bengali word for both the act of conversation and the place to have that conversation. Coffee and tea houses have been cultural hubs at the heart of communities all over the world for gathering, entertainment, and the spread and exchange of knowledge for centuries. We at Adda want to modernize the classic idea of a coffee and tea house, while staying true to the industry’s roots.
So what does that mean for Adda? What does that mean for our guests?
At the heart of Adda’s operation, we live by 3 Cs: Community, Conversation, and Connection. Add an extra two for Cuisine and Culture on plate, and you have an idea of the five integral values to the vision of Adda Coffee & Tea. Having this set of words provides the framework that shapes all of our efforts and drives our focus and motivation. For us, it’s not about what we do, but why we do it.
Adda’s owner, Sukanta Nag, has called Pittsburgh his home for 25 years. He went to school here, met his wife here, and built his business here. From the start, his dream for Adda was to implement these 3 Cs in his community, as well as around the world, and we strive towards that dream every day.
A community, before all else, is at the foundation of any small business. What a business does for its community decides the trajectory of its success, and Adda is committed to using its platform as a business to feature and share success with other local businesses that we believe in. When it comes to making decisions of what products we feature in our stores, ingredients we use, and organizations and businesses we choose to partner with, local has always been a top priority on our checklist. The only thing we outsource is our beans from Verve Coffee Roasters, but more on that later.
Our greatest success in honoring this value has been the launch of our Community Shops, a section of our bazaar dedicated to giving local artists, artisans, and vendors the opportunity to proudly feature themselves on an established platform. A good business values people over profit and so it’s important to us that Community Shop members are the ones profiting. Adda’s e-commerce platform can onboard any business in less than 24 hours and even things like professional photography can be provided by the Adda team. The benefit a platform like this can provide to a small business is significant as it offers exposure, billing, operating support, even the shipping label itself is provided when the business receives an order from a customer, all with no overhead costs. It’s about giving members of our community a team behind them to help reach success.
We build this connection as a bridge for you, our guests and patrons, to build relationships with and support people in your own community who are doing amazing things. With the detrimental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are struggling and businesses are closing, and so we took to the drawing table to find new ways to support each other in such an unforeseen situation. We have even partnered with some local businesses for giveaways, events, and programs like the community-led Adda Book Club (in partnership with City Books) for you to check out.
One of the biggest things we miss, and we’re sure you do too, is live music. Live entertainment plays such a special role in the coffee and tea house experience, we couldn’t let it go forgotten during this time. So we started our Sunday Showcase Series as a way to give local musicians a different way to play live music, while also giving them a chance to pass the love forward by fundraising for a charity of their choice. Raising up our community in every chance we can allows us all to get through this together. As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats.
With our community playing such a big role in our mission, we knew that providing the best quality products to them was imperative. With every decision, every extension of Adda, every new partner we take on, quality, equity and sustainability are of utmost importance. Every company with which we partner honors and implements the same values to their business. Our standards are high and we are grateful to have found people who see eye to eye with us.
Verve Roasters, like we mentioned, is not from Pittsburgh. Based out of California, we chose this company to source our beans from because of the commitment to those same values. With their Farmlevel Initiative, Verve ensures that a positive impact is being made on the communities they work with on a social, environmental, and economic level. This means supporting sustainable growing practices, paying fair prices, and sourcing through direct relationships with farmers. It is a set of values like these that appeal to us when deciding with which companies we partner. If it’s not the best for everyone involved, it’s not good enough for us.
None of what Adda is or hopes to be is possible without the love and support of our community, to which we owe a great deal and hope to pay it back in every way we can. When you support Adda, you become part of the family, and the Adda family is welcoming to everyone. Thank you for being along for the ride and we look forward to continuing to bring you the best Adda experience we can.