Aleah Deann Gooden

Food surrounds us every day, whether that be in stores, in your own kitchen, or at work. Personally, food has become a very prominent part of my life since I started working at a coffee shop a couple of months ago. Customers rely on me to produce well-made and delicious foods as well as almost any drink you can think of. When I sit behind this counter surrounded by hundreds of syrups and sauces, it reminds me just how much variety there is in everything we eat. It’s not just coffee, it’s your coffee, tailored to your wants and tastes. This makes me feel like the gatekeeper to your taste buds and caffeine needs. Every day I work I try and create another concoction, awaiting to see if the certain flavors I chose taste right together. The freedom of having all these flavors at grasp leaves the possibilities endless, producing drinks individually created by you. This is a great power that I will never take for granted.

However, this isn’t just a coffee shop. Within our walls, we use our business to support and help adults with special needs. Anyone and everyone are welcome, which is so important to me. Our shop is home to a safe and creative environment where you can be yourself and surround yourself with a variety of people. The kids and adults we help come in to learn how to work the cash register or help us in the back with the inventory. These tasks are used to give them “real-life work experience”, which is required for high school students to graduate and usually has a huge impact on their future employers. Not only do we only help these kids, but all kids from a variety of schools have also found that our shop is one of the best places to study and get killer coffee! The seating area we have in the back, where several students sit and work is one of the most vibrant areas of the store. Teenagers, adults, kids, everyone loves being here and listening to music while they work or just hangout. Our coffee shop has become a hub for people everywhere and little by little I’m hoping to show our magic to everyone in the community so they too can be involved in this wonderful business of helping others in need.

might be the only person you know who doesn’t like chocolate or bacon.