Two local businesses, the Foundation and COF&, have joined forces to bring the city something new: Downtown Bellingham’s first-ever coffee event lounge. The space is the newest addition to Owner Brian Womack’s collective of businesses— and it’s just one small piece of his entrepreneurial and philanthropic efforts. 

During the day, the Foundation Lounge is family-friendly and has a decisively Colombian flair. Visitors can enjoy a variety of COF& drinks made from sustainably grown, high-quality Colombian espresso beans. In addition, COF& Owner Oscar Quintero says they also plan to designate a space for local artists to sell their creations. 

At night, however, the lounge comes alive with regular adult-oriented events like spoken word poetry, comedy nights, jazz performances, and even salsa nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s also available for weddings, concerts, corporate events, and other rentals. 

“[We’re] trying to build awareness in the community, and trying to bring the community together through events,” Womack says. “That’s what that building is for next door as well.” 

While the lounge is situated at 1209 Cornwall, the Foundation itself is a wider collective of independently-owned businesses located next door at 1211 Cornwall. Beyond the event space, it’s home to Headquarters Barber Shop, Rooftop Recordings, and Anastasia Lotus’ tattoo shop. 

This collective is the culmination of a dream for Womack, who also owns and operates the aptly-named Headquarters Barber Shop. He says his major goal is to build a creative and accessible space for small business owners, and he plans to keep growing this vision– both on Cornwall Avenue and beyond– in the months and years to come.  

If that wasn’t enough, the Foundation even functions as an art gallery. It was established so that the Foundation could participate in Bellingham’s art walk, and the works on display are predominantly portraits of Black men and women painted by Canadian artist Patricia Anne. 

“Seeing as Bellingham has pretty much no African American art out here, it was a no-brainer for me to call it the Afro-Art Gallery,” Womack says. 

And all of this is for a good cause: The Foundation Lounge benefits Fatherhood the Foundation, Womack’s nonprofit for incarcerated and recently released fathers ( With the help of his own family, he was able to create a seven-point program to help inmates transition back into society. 

“[Fatherhood the Foundation is] here for fathers struggling, coming home from prison, fathers going to prison– we’re here for them,” Womack says. “We have resources; we’re connected with judges in the community, with lawyers.” 

Given that just 1.6% of Bellingham residents are Black, Womack is also passionate about supporting young people of color and keeping them out of the prison system. He works with local schools and acts as a mentor and “godfather” to youth, providing positive representation, encouragement, and support. Womack says he’s worked hard to build community in the face of adversity— and the Foundation is the manifestation of his success. 

“That’s what this whole program is about: discovering you can do anything you put your mind to.” 

Bellingham, 1209-1211 Cornwall Ave., 253.999.7426,,