Community builders, small business owners, and philanthropists, the “Berkins”—Doug Barber and Andréa Hawkins—opened their first Berkins Blend Café in Glastonbury on June 19, 2015.
At the time, the goal was “to create a sense of community with a focus on giving back to the community,” explained Doug.
Since then, the Berkins Family, LLC has expanded—and broadened its community reach. The couple opened two additional cafés in Hartford, Berkins On Oak in 2018 and Berkins On Main in January 2022.
In the spirit of community commitment, in 2021 Andréa and Doug founded the Berkins Family Fund by opening a donor-advised fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The aim is to create a legacy gift that supports non-profits started by people of color and encourages non-profits to combine their objectives and collaborate.
The Berkins Family seeded the fund with $50,000 with a goal of growing it to $100,000 before making donations. Their hope is to make their first donation at their Juneteenth gala event.
Cause for Celebration
On Saturday, June 18, the Berkins Family is hosting Juneteenth 2022 – Berkins Family Fund Inaugural Event at their Berkins On Main location in the Wadsworth Antheneum.
“Juneteenth is a time for jubilation,” emphasizes Andréa. “Not only that, the historic date marks the seventh anniversary of our first café launch. We’re amplifying an historic date, celebrating our evolution, and creating an opportunity to support the Berkins Family Fund, which we hope will enable others like us to do good in the community.”
The event honors the momentous Juneteenth holiday, which commemorates the notification of enslaved people in Galveston, TX of the ending of slavery in 1865, two years after the emancipation proclamation in 1863. To mark this important moment, the newly freed people held a huge celebration on June 19, 1865.
The Juneteenth 2022 – Berkins Family Fund Inaugural Event will feature:
- Emcee Leslie Mayes – NBC Connecticut
- Performance by Zyiasia Knighton of So You Think You Can Dance
- DJ Omar Parkes
- Food creations by Chef Quenten
- Bar with Jubilee Punch
- Dancing under the stars
- Unveiling of the Berkins Family Fund logo and website