One baby at a time...

Support Tessa Grace Nutrition Center in Mozambique and save a life... one baby at a time!  Provide food for babies under 2.  Provide education and hope for their moms. Simply complete the following steps the next time you visit Overflow.

Step One: Place a donation of any amount in the bucket and grab an ornament.

Step Two: Hang the ornament on our tree for the world to see.

Special thanks for Richelle from Traffick Free for demonstrating the 2 steps!  Also thanks to our good friend Anita who works with the Nutrition Center and hooked us up with this opportunity to make a difference.

2012 Overflow Membership Cards Now Available!

This plastic, wallet-sized 2012 Membership Card costs $50.00. It gets you 10% off everything you purchase from Overflow Coffee Bar - including food, drinks, beans, t-shirts, tumblers, and more! The only thing it doesn't work on is catering orders since those are already discounted. The savings starts January 1, 2012 and ends December 31, 2012. Only a limited number available. Get yours before they run out! 

If you spend $10 a week or more on average at Overflow, this card will pay for itself and then some over the course of the year.  $10 is the equivalent of a small coffee each day Monday through Friday or a sandwich and latte on the weekend.  It's also great for those who purchase coffee for brewing at home!

Click here to reserve your 2012 Membership Card.

World AIDS day

December 1 is World AIDS Day.  Here at Overflow, we are concerned about HIV/AIDS and use this day to show our support for those working in AIDS prevention and care.  AIDS is much more than a health crisis—it impacts nearly every dimension of social and economic life, robbing children of their parents, devastating workforces, and undermining economies. Today, 33.4 million people are living with HIV and AIDS, of which 2.1 million are children under age 15.

For us this isn't just a one day thing. We are proud to serve baked goods from Sweet Miss Givings, a social enterprise bakery and jobs program. 100% of SMG's profits go to help the formerly homeless and HIV/AIDS-affected men, women, and children of Chicago House.  As the first HIV/AIDS housing provider in the Midwest, Chicago House serves those who are living with HIV and AIDS. Through Chicago House, more than 1,300 people are guided to wholeness and self-sufficiency each year. 

What you can do:
  • Purchase Sweet Miss Givings baked goods.  Every day, we offer fresh muffins, scones, cookies and brownies.  For larger events we also do catering orders with SMG's baked goods.
  • Get educated.  We recommend starting here.
  • Spread the word.  Share what you learn and your concern with others.  Wear a red ribbon on Dec 1st to help start the conversation.
  • To help with prevention or care in Chicago, Chicago House is looking for volunteers.
  • To help with prevention or care around the world, help mothers get HIV treatment. Without treatment, HIV-positive moms have a 1 in 3 chance of infecting their children. Yet a few simple measures dramatically reduce these odds.  Find out more here.

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year... to Make a Difference

As the song goes, "It's the most wonderful time of the year!"  We wish you a great holiday season.

It just so happens this is one of the best times of the year to make a significant impact with how you choose to spend your money.

We're participating in Unwrap Chicago - a campaign to increase holiday spending at local businesses. Learn more and take the pledge to shift your spending to local businesses at Be sure to check out their Top 10 Reasons to Buy Local.  Instead of ordering your gifts online this year, why not take a walk around the South Loop!
As always your purchase at Overflow also makes a positive difference in the lives of farmers and for the environment.
Be sure to check out our Holiday Gift Ideas. Our NEW 2012 Membership Card keeps the giving going all year long.  It makes a great gift for yourself or for someone else. 

Local Action to End City-Wide Violence

In November here at Overflow, we're providing the opportunity for some local action to end violence in Chicago, city-wide.  Here's what's happening and how you can join us:

Film Screening - The Interrupters
Tuesday, November 8, 7pm 
Increase your awareness of what's happening by viewing The Interrupters - a Chicago-based documentary.  Cobe Williams, one the stars of the film will be here!  Scroll down to the next blog post for the full details.  Click here to reserve your seat.  Tickets are also available at the door while seating lasts.

Ethos - Party for Peace
Thursday, November 19, 7 to 10pm 
Show your support for ending violence by attending Ethos - Party for Peace. A portion of tickets and sales during the event will support Cease Fire Chicago. We'll also have DJ Toxxic spinning. Tickets are $6.  Purchase tickets in advance here.  Tickets are also available at the door.

Click here and invite your Facebook friends to join you.

Every city needs its heroes.

See some of Chicago's heroes in action at our screening of 
The Interrupters
November 8th at 7pm
The Interrupters tells the moving and surprising stories of three Violence Interrupters who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. From acclaimed director Steve James and bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz, this film is an unusually intimate journey into the stubborn persistence of violence in our cities. Shot over the course of a year out of Kartemquin Films, The Interrupters captures a period in Chicago when it became a national symbol for the violence in our cities. During that period, the city was besieged by high-profile incidents, most notably the brutal beating of Derrion Albert, a Chicago High School student, whose death was caught on videotape.

Watch the trailer here:

An after-screening discussion will be hosted by Josh Larsen, former film critic for Sun-Times Media.

$8 per ticket
2 tickets for $13
$5 Student rate
$5 for children ages 7 to 17
Purchase in advance here:

For you skeptics out there, Overflow has a large auditorium in our building with a complete sound and projection system. We'll be watching the film there and having the post-screening discussion in the coffee bar space. This will be a high-quality production. :)

This Weekend at Overflow!

Click on the image to purchase tickets in advance.
Check out Buy Art Not People at
Find out more about the Salvation Army's Stop-It program here.

Coming Soon...

Meek's Cutoff Film Showing 
Tuesday, October 4, 7:00 to 9:30pm

"Meek's Cutoff" is the latest film from acclaimed indie director Kelly Reichardt. The film stars Michelle Williams as a pioneer wife whose group becomes lost on the Oregon Trail. Watch the trailer here:

An after-screening discussion will be hosted by Josh Larsen, former film critic for Sun-Times Media.

In Advance - $8 per ticket, 2 tickets for $13, $5 Student rate
At door - $10 everyone
On-site childcare available for $8 per child ($5 for a sibling).

Buy tickets here:

Thoughts on Ending Human Trafficking

When I bring up human trafficking, also called modern day slavery, in a conversation, there are a few responses I typically get…

… “What’s that?”
… “That’s a huge problem but what can little-old-me do about it?”
… “As long as humans exist, that’ll always be a problem.”
… “I don’t want to talk about it; it’s depressing.”

In these conversations, I normally take one of three routes…

… awareness.
… behavioral change.
… dreaming.

In the case of awareness, I find myself just telling stories of the people who are trafficked and of those who rescue them.  In the case of behavioral change, I first mention the idea of purchasing products we know weren’t made by slaves and secondly, spreading awareness to others.  When someone doesn’t want to talk about it or is jaded towards to topic, I remember a famous quotation from Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."

To change the world, we don’t start with collecting wood, assigning tasks, or just putting our noses to the grindstones.  First, our imaginations need to be awakened to the possibilities of change.

These are the ideas behind Ethos and why we’ve asked Traffick Free to partner with us for the first one.  We hope to awaken dreamers, who will not just react to emotional stories but will thoughtfully respond with world changing actions that last a lifetime.

Maybe I’m an idealistic activist, maybe I believe in making the impossible possible or maybe if there were more people like me and those like me the world would be a different place.

Concert with a Cause
Supporting… Traffick Free
Featuring… Mathien and Fine Tuning
September 24, 2011
Purchase tickets at

Music and More!

We are very excited about these two events coming up this month.  Both are being hosted in partnership with the Daystar Center.

First, Show and Tell on Saturday, September 17.

6:00-6:45 - Sign up for slot in the Show and Tell.
7:00 - Show and Tell starts.
Show and Tell is kind of like an open-mic night but with opportunities for more artists than just musicians. Here are the simple ground rules:
  • Each person makes a presentation, five minutes or less.
  • Each presentation is followed by an opportunity to receive encouraging feedback, and constructive feedback if you so desire.
  • Original music, poetry, paintings, photography, comedy, theatre (very short plays or excerpts, please), dance, video - or whatever else you do!
Then, our first ever Ethos: Concert with a Cause on Saturday, September 24
Traffick Free
Mathien (playing at 8pm)
Fine Tuning (playing at 7pm)

Tickets: $15 in advance,
$20 at the door - $5 goes to Traffick Free, $5 goes to the musicians.  Childcare available!

"Ethos" is a series of monthly benefit concerts entitled “Ethos” from the Greek word meaning the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of a group or society. The purpose of “Ethos” is to help develop an underlying sentiment of global citizenship in the South Loop and beyond. Each month:

  • Attendees will be entertained by local artists and their musical, theatrical and visual art. 
  • Attendees will be educated about a cause.
  • Part of the money raised from ticket purchases will be (a) given to a particular nonprofit connected with the cause highlighted that month and (b) given to the artists showing that evening to support their world-changing work. 
During Ethos and Show and Tell, Overflow will be open for business for those who attend the concert.

Make Friends, Learn Something New

The following interest groups are starting at Overflow Coffee Bar in September.

South Loop Knitting/Crocheting Circle 
When: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 6-8pm. 
This is a free time where attendees learn how to knit or crochet from each other.  Bring your own supplies.  This group is also listed at

Time: TBD
Toastmasters is a great way to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn will foster your self-confidence and personal growth.  If you're interested, complete the form found here.

Time: twice a month on Fridays at 6pm.  Dates this fall include: Sept 16, 30, Oct 14, 28, Nov 4, 18, Dec 2, 16
These free boardgame nights are hosted by the Chicago Game Lovers Meetup Group.  Attendees can learn a new game someone else brings or bring your own game to play with others. 

Coffee 101: History, Selection & Brewing Perfection

We did a survey in July and 20 responded that they'd be interested in a coffee class at Overflow.  Here's your chance to help decide when the first one will be and more about the class itself.

The result of this 2-hour class is that you will know how to brew at home the same cup of coffee you get in our coffee shop.  Overflow's coffee roasting company of choice, Coffee Ambassadors will be partnering with us to offer you the latest information available on the science and art involved in brewing the perfect cup using a handful of different brewing methods.  The class will include some lecture.  But, will mostly be interactive and hands on as you take a step back in time to your high school science lab days.  Only, this time you will get to enjoy some incredible, non-toxic aromas and flavors ranging from grapefruit to blueberry and cocoa nibs to toffee.  That's right folks, these flavors really are found in the delectable coffees we'll be showcasing as a part of this class.

We hope to start this class by mid-September.  Help us decide what date and time to offer this class.  Click here to complete a 3 question survey.

Daystar Center now registering for Fall Classes!

From one our friends in the building...
Rise and Shine with Daystar!

Convenient. Safe.  Economical. Practical. Fun.

When you wake up every morning, you have those expectations for your child’s activities for the day. Daystar Center provides such activities. 

  • Daystar Center is conveniently located in the heart of the greater South Loop at 1550 S. State. along with Overflow Coffee Bar where you can also grab a great cup of coffee or some food.

  • Daystar Center has a safe, clean environment in the same building as the Daystar School, a pre-K to 8th grade private school.

  • Daystar Center sets the pricing for classes and lessons at a competitive market rate.

  • Daystar Center classes teach practical life skills like social aptitude, creativity, and cultural awareness in fun ways.  You child can learn
    • a new language in an immersion setting,
    • a musical instrument using Suzuki methods,
    • theatre and story-telling skills through acting out fairytales, and
    • social skills such as playing well with others

  • Daystar Center is FUN!  You and your toddler can do yoga or learn a language together in a place with a scale and “feel” that’s great for kids.

Learn more at our Open House - August 20 from 10am to 1pm. 

For more information, including a schedule of classes, visit  Have questions?  Call (312) 674-0001 or email 

We recommend the playgroups.  Purchase a family pass and you get 10% off at Overflow during playgroup times.  :)

The Daystar Center is a 501(c)3 organization that provides professional development opportunities, offers educational and community programming, and facilitates collaboration among nonprofits at 1550 South State, in Chicago, and beyond.  The are a sister organization with Daystar School but are separate.

Twitterview Transcript from Wednesday, July 27

Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee Thank you for agreeing to this twitterview today! What stirred your interest in participating? #twitterview #1550SState
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago
@terribuseman I <3 the #SouthLoop and @mollyheyen convinced me this was a great way to show my <3.
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee Are you originally from Chicago? What brought you to the South Loop? #twitterview #1550SState #SouthLoop
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago @terribuseman I’m from a town in OH, moved to Chicago 4 college. to #SouthLoop b/c I wanted 2 start a #3rdplace in place w/ lack of them.
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago @terribuseman #3rdplace is the place u go 2 when not at home or work – a place 4 the community to meet. a sociology term from 19th century
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee Explains your motivation. How did you get involved in @DaystarCenter and open Overflow Coffee? #twitterview #1550SState
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago @terribuseman Overflow came about from my hubby & my looking for our destiny. There’s a really long story about how we met @DaystarCenter.
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee I guess if it’s a long story it won’t fit in 140 char. Maybe you can tell us later!
@overflowcoffee What other organizations operate out of #1550SState? #twitterview
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago
@terribuseman I should do a blog post about it. It’s a fun story of coincidences and funny timing. I’ll share when I write it up. :)
Chicago City Estates - Molly Heyen
@overflowcoffee I can’t wait to read it! I’ll have to share mine with you too.
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee The tagline for Overflow #Coffee is Changing the world one cup at a time. #twitterview #1550SState
@overflowcoffee Can you describe how each cup of #coffee changes the world? #twitterview #1550SState
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago @terribuseman Our coffee from @CA_coffeemakes a real difference in the farmers’ lives, their communities and for then environment.@terribuseman Plus, we are an #L3C, #socent and use the profits we make to do and support nonprofit work.
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee Changing the world by giving back to the community locally and globally! #L3C #socent
@overflowcoffee You work for both Overflow Coffee and @DaystarCenter. How are the two related? #twitterview #1550SState
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago @terribusemanyup. “buy local, think global” we have been inspired a lot by MLK, Jr. “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”@terribuseman Overflow & @DaystarCenter are space sharers at #1550SState but we also partner 2 change the world & 2 serve the #SouthLoop.
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee How can one get involved with @DaystarCenter and help it grow in the community? #twitterview #1550SState
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago @terribuseman glad u asked. One way is through joining the @DaystarCenter 2011/12 school year task force:
@terribuseman Another is the upcoming @DaystarCenter Open House on Aug 20:
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee We’ll have to mark our calendars for that! #OpenHouse @DaystarCenter
@overflowcoffee Do you have any exciting projects on the horizon? #twitterview #1550SState
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago @terribuseman Launching Sept: “Daystar After Dark” – series of concerts, open mics, films & social events. Should announce details soon.
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman @overflowcoffee That sounds great! #ShowAndTell was a lot of fun. Will there be programs like that?
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago @terribuseman absolutely. we hope 2 do 3 #ShowAndTell in Sept-Dec. We <3 to support local artists. @mathien might play a show here too
Chicago City Estates - Molly Heyen
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee What do you do for fun/relaxation? #twitterview #1550SState #ShowAndTell
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago
@terribuseman Who has time for fun/relaxation??? Seriously though, personally I love to read & play strategy board games
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee What are some of your favorite #strategygames ?
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee I don’t know those How about some of your favorite South Loop spots? #twitterview #1550SState #SettlersofCatan #Carcassonne
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago
@terribuseman So many favorites in the South Loop. Top Three @weathermarktav @codeofconduct @floandsantos.
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee Is @codeofconduct more than just tattoos?
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago
@terribuseman @codeofconduct sells clothes + they r just a fun place to stop by & hang out for a while (some play video games)
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee We’ll have to stop by sometime.
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago @terribuseman Almost forgot – @codeofconduct has some pretty cool art on the walls too & they do some events.
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee We should definitely check that out! @codeofconduct
@overflowcoffee What, to you, is the most unexpected benefit of living in the South Loop? ? #twitterview #1550SState
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago
@terribuseman Honestly, the MOST unexpected benefit of the #SouthLoop for me was proximity to #Chinatown and #Pilsen. #culture
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee We are out of time, but it was lovely #tweeting with you! I hope you enjoyed participating in this #twitterview.
Amanda Neely, Overflow Coffee, Daystar Center, South Loop Chicago
@terribuseman Thanks for inviting me. I enjoyed it very much. Say “hello” to @Mollyheyen for me. #twitterview
Chicago City Estates - Molly Heyen
@overflowcoffee I’m following along! Hello. Thanks for interviewing with us! #twitterview
Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman
@overflowcoffee Will do! Thank you! #twitterview
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