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The coffee shop in Flagler Village giving back one cup of coffee at a time

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At the beginning of June, we opened up our first home in Flagler Village, Fort Lauderdale: The Edge by Common, and made it our mission to find local businesses in the area that not only connected with the local residents but also helped cultivate a community of inclusion. Little did we know that we would stumble upon a mission-driven coffee shop founded by a retired NFL player just a short walk away from our new building! We spoke with Stephen Tulloch to learn about how he’s using his passion for philanthropy and coffee to fuel a business on its way to making a global impact.

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More than just a cup of coffee

Stephen Tulloch spent 11 seasons making a name for himself in the NFL — not only for his performance on the field but also for his philanthropic work with underprivileged kids and cancer patients. He started the Stephen Tulloch Foundation in 2009 to help underprivileged kids and their families with their education, medical needs, and even Christmas presents. After retiring from the NFL in 2017, he spent time overseas volunteering in impoverished communities and even built a school in his family’s hometown in Jamaica.

Giving back to those in need and cultivating community are two aspects of life Stephen values deeply, so when he returned to his family in Florida, he decided he wanted to start a new chapter that combined his passion for philanthropy with his passion for coffee.

Founded in 2018 with the slogan “Giving back one sip at a time”, Circle House Coffee opened up its doors to the Flagler Village and greater Fort Lauderdale community to provide a safe and inclusive space for people to connect, while also functioning as a profitable business to give a portion of all proceeds to charity.

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Giving back even during a pandemic

“My vision is to help local and global communities one sip at a time through running and expanding the Circle House Coffee business,” Stephen said during our interview. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Circle House Coffee was donating an average of $1k per month to local and global charities. At this time, all of the tips have been diverted to the faithful staff so that they can have enough funds to pay for living expenses and care for their loved ones.

What’s more remarkable is how Circle House Coffee continues to promote togetherness and community during a time of social distancing. The mural on the outside of the coffee shop was specifically designed by Stephen to showcase people of all colors and backgrounds.

“As a Black-owned business, I want to create an atmosphere of inclusivity and comfort when people come to my shop…we greatly focus on customer service and try to design our space as an extension of someone’s living room.”

The cafe also happens to be the first-and-only drive-thru coffee shop in downtown Fort Lauderdale, which has allowed the business to continue to service its customers at a safe distance and remain running on almost completely-normal hours for its customers and staff.

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What’s next for Circle House Coffee?

Not only does Stephen plan to continue to give back to charities around the world, but he plans on expanding his coffee shop into other locations in the Florida area. This month, Circle House Coffee is launching an app and loyalty program to make it easier for their customers to preorder and pick up their caffeine faster than ever before while also giving back. To learn more about their business and stay up to date on their expansion, check our Circle House Coffee’s website or Instagram!

Want to learn more about Flagler Village? Check out our Ultimate Flagler Village Neighborhood Guide and explore our newest Fort Lauderdale home, The Edge by Common.

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