Behind the counter Kyle Layton, Monica Morales, Raeanna Selby listen to Tiffany Bulgin start the toast while Mary Jean Sandall and Mark Bulgin look on at the first anniversary of Isaac’s Coffee, Wine & Dessert. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

It was warm and friendly inside Isaac's Coffee, Wine & Dessert in downtown Salem on a cold and rainy Saturday.  The bistro served hundreds of guests on its First Birthday Celebration, held all day on Jan. 11. At 3 p.m., founders Mark and Tiffany Bulgin prepared for a group toast.  Tiffany stood on a chair above the crowd and raised a glass of Isaac’s Ale, to its success.  The beer was created specially by Vagabond Brewing for the occasion.

Tiffany thanked Board Member, Mary Jean Sandall, who had served on the board for over 15 years and the other leaders who attended.  Monica Morales, the head baker at Issac’s coffee, helped guests behind the counter alongside staff members Jacqueline Booher, Kyle Layton and Joe Moynihan. 

As many Salem residents know, Isaac’s Coffee and IKE Box are named for Isaac, the Bulgin’s infant son. Issac passed away from a heart condition shortly after birth. This tragic event inspired his parents to “give his room” to children who needed support. They started a nonprofit program to provide work experience and support for divested youth. Isaac’s brother Andrew Bulgin attended.

Isaac’s Coffee, Wine & Dessert is an extension of the nonprofit organization called Isaac’s Room, which operates the IKE Box. Like IKE Box, Isaac's treats guests to  Sisters Coffee that comes from a family-owned and operated roastery and offers a breakfast menu titled "good morning" and a lunch menu titled "good afternoon.” One of Sister’s Coffee owners, Jesse Dunham, and her husband Michael Kirsch traveled at top speed of 15 miles per hour over the pass to stop by and check out the crowd.  Dunham has been providing coffee to the Bulgins since 2011 and says her company is excited about their mission. 

Update: The  original Ike Box Coffee Shop raised enough money for its downpayment and will stay at its primary location on Cottage Street.  They will continue to raise funds, however, for remodeling and paying off the remaining debt. Learn more at their gofundme page here.

Isaac’s Coffee, Wine & Dessert, is located at 201 Commercial St. N.E. Ike Box coffee shop is located at 299 Cottage St. N.E., www.IkeBox.com  Isaacsroom.org.

Board Member Mary Jean Sandall toasts with the special Isaac’s Ale, brewed by Vagabond Brewing at the first anniversary of Isaac’s Coffee, Wine & Dessert. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Denise Biggins, Sidney Shaw and Brian Shaw toast to the first anniversary of Isaac’s Coffee, Wine & Dessert. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Tiffany Bulgin, co-founder of the Ike Box and Jesse Dunham from Sister’s Coffee attend the first anniversary of Isaac’s Coffee, Wine & Dessert. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Denise and Jon Biggins, Andrew Bulgin and Janie Shaw toast to the first anniversary of Isaac’s Coffee, Wine & Dessert. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Tiffany Bulgin tells guests about Isaac’s at the first anniversary of Isaac’s Coffee, Wine and Dessert. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Mary Louise VanNatta is a Salem public relations professional writing a regular column for Salem Reporter. Tell her about your upcoming event at [email protected] or follow her on Facebook.