Snack Shack Redefines Community at Westchester Lagoon 

If you’re visiting Anchorage in your Alaska car rentals this year, you’ll quickly discover that there’s a different kind of community in this town. Alaska in general is known for its friendly, tight-knit communities, but residents of Anchorage have stepped it up a notch. As you tour the town in your Alaska car rentals, make a stop at the Busy Beans Café.

With its original shop in Government Hill making waves in the family-friendly atmosphere of the town, owner Jill Johnston decided to try something new. In May, Johnston opened up a pop-up shop at the Westchester Lagoon in the old restaurant shack that used to be home to Covey Café until 2010. In fact, this is the first shop to open up in the space since the closing of the Covenant House operation, Covey Café. Now, Covenant House maintains a strong hold on the workings of the shack.

What is Covenant House?

Covenant House is a home for underprivileged and homeless youth. Owners and employees of the House help residents escape the cycle of poverty by encouraging opportunity. One way that this is accomplished is through employment programs.

The Covenant House seeks out local businesses that are willing to take on youth in internships to teach them the workings of business, the service industry, and having a work routine in general. Youth without a resume or the communication and interview skills necessary in finding a job are given a second chance to start their lives on the track of independence and success. The Covenant House has a grant that pays for youth for a certain number of weeks during an internship with the business, after which time the business hopefully will hire the youth onto their staff as permanent paid employees.

What is Busy Beans Coffee Shop?

The Busy Beans Café began with its own agenda of changing the social landscape in Anchorage. Jill Johnston, a mother of two, began to notice a gap in local restaurant options when her 4-month old grew restless in coffee shops. These adult-friendly atmospheres weren’t exactly prime location for a mother looking to get out of the house with a young child.

Johnston yearned for a shop where her child could be safe and free to wander without intruding on other patrons’ relaxation time. The concept of Busy Beans was born.

Busy Beans Café is a place where parents can bring their children to cozy up on couches or just to play while the adults have their time. It’s 100% family friendly, and is a great stop for parents during the summer months when school is out. If you’re traveling with kids, take your Alaska car rentals down to Busy Beans for a fun time for the whole family.

Covenant House and Busy Beans

So what does Busy Beans Café have to do with Covenant House? More than you might think.

These two wonderful businesses are teaming up to offer opportunities for youth to rebuild their lives. Covenant House contacted Busy Beans about employment opportunities for their youth, and Busy Beans quickly took up the option.

Currently there are 3 youth from Covenant House working with Busy Beans, aged 20, 20, and 18. Whether or not these youth will choose to keep on with Covenant House is up in the air – they all have gained their own goals for career beginnings. One is looking toward the University of Alaska Anchorage for civil engineering, another to construction, and the final youth is considering moving towns for a fresh start. Johnston has said that no matter what they decide, they will certainly have a spot at Busy Beans in September.

If you want to stop by the Busy Beans Café by Westchester Lagoon, the shop opens from around noon until nightfall every day. Nightfall can be anywhere from 5:30 to 8 pm, so make sure to stop by early if you want to guarantee a nibble of their sweets.

This shop is a great place to park your Alaska car rentals and explore. There’s some beautiful scenery and the area is known for bikes, hikes, and kayak adventures.

Begin on your exploration of Anchorage today with Alaska car rentals from Avis Alaska.