On Friday, January 5th, the co-owner of Tacoma, Washington’s Howdy Bagel Jake Carter was killed tragically while vacationing in New Orleans. There with his husband and fellow co-owner, Daniel Blagovich, the pair were mugged at around 1:30am near Bourbon Street in the Marigny neighborhood, where a not-yet identified suspect shot Carter.

The murder has rocked the tight-knit Tacoma restaurant community, and many establishments are raising funds to donate to a GoFundMe for Blagovich and Howdy Bagel. This includes Olympia Coffee Roasters, who will be donating all sales today, January 12th, from the Proctor Tacoma Cafe.

More than just providing the coffee for Howdy Bagel, Olympia’s connection with Carter goes back years. The Texas transplant worked as a barista at the Proctor location in the early stages of opening the bagel shop. “He was a person of light, kindness, and warmth. He worked for us during some low moments of the pandemic and I can strongly remember his optimism and positive attitude,” Olympia co-owner Oliver Stormshak tells Sprudge.

Opened in 2020, Howdy Bagel served as an inclusive community space. Eater Seattle states that Howdy provided “a crucial LGBTQ-friendly hangout space in Tacoma, a place with not many dedicated daytime queer spaces for all ages.”

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“He had a vision to bring positivity and joy into the Howdy Bagel brand and create a proud space in Tacoma for the LBGTQ+ community,” Stormshak confirms.


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In an Instagram post about the tragedy, Howdy Bagel announced that it would close temporarily to give Blagovich and the rest of the staff time to grieve and figure out what comes next. This leaves them without any ability to earn a living. Thus a GoFundMe has been started on Blagovich’s behalf to help raise funds that “will go to cover the cost of shop rent and other operating expenses, as well as employee wages,” per the crowdfunding page.

For their part, Olympia plans to donate all of today’s sales from their Proctor location to the GoFundMe. As of press time, the campaign in closing in on $250,000 raised. So if you find yourself in the Seattle/Tacoma area, stop in to the Proctor Olympia cafe and get coffee for a good cause. For more information or to donate directly, visit the Howdy Bagel GoFundMe page.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.