CAFÉ AND COFFEE SHOP HOSTS GRAND OPENING IN DOWNTOWN ALBEMARLE
Despite the frigid temperatures, a large crowd gathered on January 19th for the grand opening of Second Street Sundries. The festivities began at 5:00 pm with the official ribbon cutting, followed by “Business After Hours”, a networking event sponsored by the Stanly County Chamber of Commerce. Located at 221 North Second Street in downtown Albemarle, Second Street Sundries, owned by GHA Autism Supports, officially opened on January 19th. Through a management agreement with Sodexo, a leading provider of sustainable, integrated facilities management and food service operations, the café and coffee shop serves a wide variety of moderately priced breakfast and lunch food items for dine-in or carry out. In addition, the contract with Sodexo allows Second Street Sundries to participate in the We Proudly Serve Starbucks® coffee program. The agreement allows the establishment to serve a variety of Starbucks® coffee products including brewed coffee and espresso beverages. Sodexo currently contracts with Pfeiffer University to provide all campus food services and the partnership helps to facilitate Pfeiffer’s continued involvement in the greater community.
The mission of Second Street Sundries is to provide employment opportunities for the individuals with autism that GHA currently supports. Currently, two individuals with autism have been hired, with another completing the training module. “The whole menu is like trying to tackle a horse, but I kind of got a hang of it within a week and I’ve just been pumping out drinks ever since,” commented Alan, one of the baristas at Second Street Sundries.
In addition to the space utilized by the café and coffee operations, January 19th also marked the grand opening of the small retail store which carries a number of handcrafted items created by the individuals with autism, along with apparel from Pfeiffer University and greeting cards. The “Gift Shop” is located inside Second Street Sundries and is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Grant funding from the Stanly County Community Foundation and the Wal-Mart Foundation enabled GHA to expand its creative arts initiative to showcase the talents of the individuals GHA supports. The store will also serve as the pick-up location for the shareholders that subscribe to the Carolina Farms Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Any member of the community can subscribe to receive pesticide-free produce grown at Carolina Farms, a 39-acre farm located in Millingport that is owned and operated by GHA Autism Supports where individuals with autism live, work and play.
“In our planning efforts during the months prior to January 19th, we were truly excited about bringing this addition to downtown Albemarle, but the community’s response has truly been overwhelming,” said GHA Autism Supports CEO Dawn Allen. Most recently, management extended the hours of operation to 8:00 pm on Friday and Saturday evenings to meet the demand. Second Street Sundries customers can access open areas for socializing, as well as other areas for a quieter atmosphere, along with free Wi-Fi and extensive access to power outlets for laptop use. In addition, a spacious room in the back of the building will serve as a location that can be utilized by small to mid-size meeting groups.
In operation since 1978, GHA Autism Supports currently serves over 90 individuals with autism. With the recent statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control of 1 in 68 children being identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the organization continues to expand its array of services including residential, vocational, in-home and community services. For more information about the Second Street Sundries project, contact Chief Development Officer Beth Olivieri at (704) 982-9600, ext. 125 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.