Ballard cafe owner seeking other businesses to band together to hire private security company

After repeated break-ins, the owner of a cafe in East Ballard is hoping to band together with other local business owners to hire a private security company to prevent crime.

Woodland Coffee (1417 NW 54th St) owner Vanessa Daiger says her cafe has been broken into twice in the past month and that she’s felt unsafe at work. She drafted a letter to other local business owners to suggest they get together to contract a private security company to help manage the ongoing threats.

We’ve reported on many business break-ins in the neighborhood; in October, numerous businesses were hit in a spate of break-ins, including A la Mode Pies, Katsu Burger, Ballard Coffee Works, Spice Waala, and Wild at Heart.

Here’s an excerpt from her letter:

As I am sure you have noticed, our neighborhood is changing rapidly. At my shop in particular; we had two after-hours break ins last month, I have had to kick people out every day the last month, and have filed four police reports in the last two weeks for violence and even sexual assault. I have worked in the Seattle coffee scene all over the city for fifteen years and I have never seen anything quite like East Ballard. When someone breaks in at night I have shown up alone hoping that no one is still there. I feel unsafe. I’m scared. My employees are scared and I can’t comfort them. I have stopped walking to work. We have shortened our hours. I am not sure how to protect my employees anymore. At this point I am altering my way of life to attempt to ensure a safety that is not being provided. This is our home! Our employees deserve to feel protected, and I am going to try everything in my power to make that happen.

Other recent break-ins include Salt and Sugar (5615 24th Ave NW), which was hit just last night.

“I care about this community and the longevity of the businesses within it and I know this is not a problem I am alone in facing,” Daiger concluded in her letter. “I wish I was not in this position and was not contacting you in such regards, but something must be done. Please join me.”

Photo: Woodland Coffee