Here are some questions submitted by our online community.  Submit your question here.

"Why do you use ethically sourced and fair trade coffee?"

submitted by Ben A.


Because ethically sourced coffee really does make a positive difference in the world!  After oil, coffee is the 2nd most widely traded commodity on the planet.  Its impact on human cultures and the natural environment extends literally around the world.  If you want to change the world, first, reduce your consumption of oil and second, purchase ethically traded coffee.

It doesn't stop there though.  Did you know that Overflow also uses ethically sourced tea, cocoa, sugar, and more?  Our baker has relationships with hundreds of midwestern farmers.  It might start with oil and coffee but it doesn't end there.  Each product we consume can have a positive (or negative) impact on those who got it to us and the planet that gave us the resources for it.  We are working toward a world where every product is ethically traded, all human beings are treated as human beings, and the planet's resources are here for generations to come.

"What are ways (big and small) that I can be involved in enacting justice?"

submitted by Amanda P.


We have SO many ideas for how to answer this question.  We suggest following our blog to see a new idea every Wednesday.


Top 4 Ideas:

1. Learn the stories behind what you buy.

From clothes to food, if you can't find information about the supply chain, you probably wouldn't want to know where it came from. Support products with transparency on how they are made and who is making them.  Free2Work.org is a great resource for up to date information on brands we use every day.  If in doubt, choose a local, small, independent business first!

2. Get to know your neighbors.

Having a party that might get loud and annoy your neighbors?  Invite them.  They can't be annoyed by the noise when they help make it.  Don't want to throw a party?  Go to someone else's party or join in with some community activities in your neighborhood.  If in doubt, simply say "hi" to a random person on the street.

3. Come to and share about Overflow.

Invite a friend you haven't seen in a while to grab coffee with you and catch up.  Share this page on Facebook to inspire others to think about enacting social justice.  Tweet a pic of your favorite Overflow drink.  Spread the word about our world changing mission!

4. Dream.

Use your imagination to think up a new way to make the world a better place, then go for it!  Innovate to improve conditions for yourself, those around you, and your neighbors about the world.  Can't come up with something?  Volunteer and help accomplish someone else's good ideas in the meantime.  Never give up.

"What was your motivation for starting a small business in the South Loop?"

submitted by Michael S.


There are two parts to this question: 1. What motivated us to start a business? and 2. Why did we locate in the South Loop?  Both are excellent questions.  Let's take them each in turn.

1.  Our motivation to start a business stems from our childhood.  Brandon grew up hanging out at local coffee shops.  Amanda grew up being an activist.  After we got married, our destinies combined to create Overflow - a local coffee shop with a mission to make the world a better place.  The concept of Overflow ultimately stemmed from us asking questions like "What's our life purpose?"  Then, looking back on our lives journeys to find themes that directed our future together.  Coffee, community, and social justice joined with sustainability and mixed with our spirituality to create some dreams we've only begun to see take shape.

2.  Our motivation to be in the South Loop pretty much boils down to timing and emotions.  We started dreaming of opening a coffee shop in 2008.  In 2007, the South Loop was the fastest growing neighborhood in the nation but didn't have a local, independent, third-wave coffee shop.  So, we immediately pinpointed on the area.  We started walking through the neighborhood.  I (Amanda) in particular found myself crying sometimes when I'd walk through the South Loop.  I just knew this is where I had to be!

"Who makes the music selection?"

submitted by Sean O.


We have 100 stations on an internet radio.  The stations have been created by and for the baristas.  The baristas get to choose which of these stations plays during their shifts.

"How long have you been in business?"

submitted by Bryant R.


Overflow began as a dream in 2008.  In 2009, we incorporated as a nonprofit.  Then in 2010, we discovered L3C (low-profit limited liability company) is more in line with our model so we shut down the nonprofit and restarted as an L3C.  We became the 17th L3C in the state of Illinois.  On March 18, 2011 we opened our doors to the public at 1550 S. State Street.

"How do I get discounts on the food and beverages at Overflow?"

submitted by Dawn M.


2 ways:

1. Become a member.

2. Pay close attention to the emails we send and social media posts (hint, we posted one on social media earlier today). If you don't get our emails, join the movement to subscribe to the email list.