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Conversation, care, and coffee: Beca’s Brew in Bothell

  • Written by Kirsten Abel
The day after Beca Nistrian opened her coffee stand Beca’s Brew in Bothell in April 2017, she met Will Tinkham, a local guy with special needs.
 
“I could tell he didn’t have many friends. That he was disregarded,” Nistrian said. She and Tinkham talked for a couple hours. Then Nistrian told him to return for another chat and a free drink the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that.
 
What started out as a happenstance meeting has now transformed into a deep friendship.
 
“I see him every day,” Nistrian said. “I consider him family.”
 
Wills bookBeca Nistrian and Will Tinkham in front of Beca’s Brew in Bothell (Courtesy photo)She and Tinkham try new restaurants and go to the mall together. Sometimes she and other customers take a trip to the movies.
 
Their friendship evolved over- time and eventually, Nistrian decided to document it in a children’s book. She partnered with publisher Todd Civin to create the illustrated work called “A Cup of Kindness.” The book, which is available on Amazon for $14.95, tells the story of Nistrian and Tinkham.
 
“My purpose with this book is to show anyone that’s different, you matter,” she said. She wants copies of the book to be in schools and libraries all over the country, not just in Bothell.
 
The lesson of acceptance is an important one, especially for kids, Nistrian said. People who are different are often ignored or even bullied. Nistrian hopes “A Cup of Kindness” can change that kind of behavior even on a small scale.
“They should not only be allowed into our society, but embraced,” she said.
 
When Tinkham first started hanging around the coffee stand, Nistrian said some people didn’t treat him very respectfully. So she decided she needed to introduce him to the community, to show everyone what kind of a person he is.
“He’s really awesome, just take some time,” Nistrian said. “With Will, it’s like he has taught me more than anyone else in my entire life.”
 
Nistrian said that Bothell residents came to love Tinkham just as she did. They even threw him a surprise birthday party earlier this year.
 
Now, others with special needs or disabilities come by the stand as well. They know it’s a friendly place, a home even.
 
Nistrian said one man with disabilities told her, “I saw your store and I wanted to come here because I know I’m accepted.”
 
During the warmer months, Nistrian said Beca’s Brew is a bustling place. They sit outside and play cards. They chat. “It’s like a party here in the summer,” she said.
 
That the pair has bonded in such a lasting way isn’t all that surprising once you meet Nistrian. She is adamantly welcoming and easy to talk to. She’d offer anyone the same courtesy she initially offered to Tinkham.
“All my customers are my friends,” she said. “That’s just who I am.”
 
Beca’s Brew is located at 19005 Bothell Way Northeast.  The stand is open Monday through Friday, from 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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