Intern Report: Checking in with Anthem Beverage and Bistro

By Drake T. Birnbaum on May 22, 2014

Hello! My name is Drake Birnbaum. I'm a runner, dancer and a Jew. I prefer my pizza cold and my hair styled. As the newest member of team Volcano, I'm like the communal sidekick. This is my first article, and I gotta say, I think I did great.

Some places hold memories. For me, one of those places is the Puyallup coffee shop Anthem Beverage and Bistro. It was a Forza back then, yet equally wonderful for enjoying gelato with my mom and brother. Suddenly, it was called Anthem Coffee & Tea, but that didn't stop me from painting on Buddha Board with family and friends. Before I knew it, another Anthem had opened on Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma.

Earlier this week, on a sunny day - with my editor freaking out in the other room - I decided to explore both Anthems. I can do that, since I'm an intern and he can't fire me. The Tacoma location was my first stop, where the high ceilings, string lights and large windows gave the coffeehouse a bright openness. As I sat down with Manager Matia Petrovich, I asked her what was going down at Anthem. She was excited to tell of the ways she supports the community on Pacific Ave. by collaborating with local businesses. Several weeks ago, Matia and neighbors urbanXchange and Bleach hosts a progression music crawl with a different band at each location. It was a huge success.

Matia went on to tell me of how she tailored the Anthem menu for her main customer demographic: college students. "Since we're practically on campus, we get a lot of the UW Tacoma kids," says Matia. To keep them entertained Matia will often turn the outside patio into a beer garden. In addition to getting college kids their obligatory caffeine shots (and those of age, beer), Matia also allows different groups to rent out the space. She says a photography association recently held its convention at Anthem.

Across the county, Shiloh, manager of the Puyallup Anthem, is looking to her customers to make Anthem into something more.

While the Puyallup Anthem's popularity has skyrocketed over the years, the seating capacity has changed. Shiloh decided to create a Kickstarter campaign to add space. By offering marvelous rewards for pledges such as unlimited drip coffee for a year, a signature beverage that includes your name, and even an Anthem-catered private party, Shiloh has given her loyal customers the opportunity to work together and create a better experience for everyone. With one day left, 37 backers have pledged $12,361 of the $12,000 Shiloh desired. There's still time to score some cool swag.

Whether you're attracted to the bright ambience of the Tacoma location, or the warm hum of the Puyallup one, Anthem is an opportunity to meet new people, catch up with old friends, and see the community in action.