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Where Valentine’s Day means a smooch from a pooch

Kaffee and Kona’s kissing booth is raising funds for the local humane society this Valentine’s Day.

The Baden Coffee Company is now in its fifth year hosting the event, where a donation to the animals gets you kissed by one. Through February 14, the infamous coffee shop dogs will be sending virtual kisses to anyone donating to their fundraiser. On Valentine’s Day itself, both dogs will be at Baden Coffee Company to dish out smooches.

“We’re hoping some people come in and just want to say hi to them on the 14th, but we have the virtual stuff out now with the humane society. They’re going to be on site in the morning of the 14th for a couple of hours. Those people who want to come and see them they can because now we have our seating open,” said Barbara Collins, one of the owners of Baden Coffee Company. “So as long as we can monitor that. There’s not more than one or two at a time.”

The aim is to raise $500 to $600 to help animals at the Kitchener-Waterloo and Stratford Perth Humane Society.

“We are incredibly appreciative that Baden Coffee continues to host this fundraiser in support of our animals every year. As a self-funded charity that receives no government funding, we heavily rely on donations to cover general care and medical costs for our animals,” said Calla James, director of community engagement and outreach for the KW & SP Humane Society.

Due to the pandemic and physical distancing requirements, the fundraiser had to go virtual the last couple of years.

“The initial idea was we had a little booth, she was sitting there, and people would actually come and kiss her or get kisses and then donate money. That’s sort of why we started it because Kaffee really likes to give kisses – she’s a chocolate lab and Kona is a yellow lab,” said Collins.

The local pups have become valuable employees, helping drive customers into the store with their adorable features and friendly personalities.

“When we initially opened, which was nine years ago, Kaffee used to come out and greet people all the time, but now the regulations are a little stricter. So, they just stay in the back area most of the time, but there are still some customers that come in specifically just to say hi,” said Collins. 

“They come to work pretty much every day. Kaffee is nine years old and Kona is one. The reason we got Kona is because I noticed she was born the same day as Kaffee so they share the same birthdates. That sort of intrigued us when we were kind of just looking for another dog during COVID. So that was January 20. We had a little party for them already – they’re very spoiled.”

Baden Cowffee Company has become an annual supporter of the KW & SP Humane society, as the owners are dog lovers as much as they are coffee roasters.

“We actually have a coffee that is called Kaffee Kares – we donate a certain percentage of the proceeds of that coffee to the humane society. We do some other fundraising things for them. Right now we have coasters a lady donated, and she wants all of the proceeds to go to the humane society. We donate money every year to different charities and they’re one of our main ones,” noted Collins.

Anyone looking to donate to the Valentine’s Day fundraiser and get their smooch from a pooch can go online or donate during their daily coffee run at a box at the cash register. Kaffee and Kona will be available for in-person smooches next Monday morning at the coffee shop.

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Seven days. One newsletter. Local reporting about people and places you
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