Bringing Coffee to the Troops: Volunteers Help to Setup a Coffee House in Iraq

NEWBURY PARK, Calif., June 2 /PRNewswire/ — For U.S. troops in Iraq, getting the comforts of home, like a good cup of coffee, has been a constant struggle. Suzelle Aguirre, a volunteer with Soldiers’ Angels, got a request from SFC Rick Weiss for help setting up a coffee house in Iraq, and she worked to make it happen.

With the help of the non-profit Soldiers’ Angels, volunteers from the FBI, and the e-commerce store, the coffee house became a reality with enough coffee donated by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf(R) for 250,000 cups.

SFC Weiss, in charge of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (“MWR”) at the base in Al Taqaddum, wrote to Ms. Aguirre, “Since arriving, I have gotten the temporary movie theater up and running … working on starting a coffee house.” He said he needed to find a way to get coffee so he could turn a portion of the MWR building into a coffee house for the troops.

Ms. Aguirre and a fellow volunteer, Debbye Shepard, contacted The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf(R), the oldest and largest privately held chain of specialty coffee and tea stores in the United States, which donated eleven pallets of coffee. provided free warehousing of the coffee until it could be shipped, and a dozen FBI agents from the Los Angeles office volunteered their time by boxing the coffee.

“The agents loved doing it. It was a truly rewarding experience for all of us,” says Senior Project Manager Joan Sandoval., the world’s first store exclusively offering travel size items, has been working with Soldiers’ Angels by creating customized care packages for the troops. “It has been a win-win collaboration between our company and Soldiers’ Angels,” says’ co-founder and vice-president, Paul Shrater.

Soldiers’ Angels is accepting donations for the shipping of more coffee at For $13, a 7-9lb box of coffee is sent to the newly named “Soldiers’ Angels Coffee House,” at Al Taqaddum.

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