Why a Teen Coffee Shop?
Middle Grounds is a teen coffee shop that I had started in 2016. I had started pondering the idea in 2012 when I started volunteering at a youth detention center called Homme Home, located in Wittenberg. I couldn’t wait to go weekly to do their Chapel time and just spend time talking with the teenagers. I would go every Tuesday evening and have supper with the girls, who had all been sex-trafficked and waiting for placement homes. The guys were there for many different reasons, as well. Each week I’d listen to the different groups of kids and hear the stories of why they were there. The one thing I heard over and over was I wish there would be a place for us to go to talk to someone who cares and would listen. It burdened my heart each week, knowing they were there for many different reasons, but they were so lonely and longing for someone to just be there for them without being judged. They longed to have a safe place to go and someone to listen to them. This is one of the main reasons I started Middle Grounds Teen Coffee Shop. I wanted a safe place for High School and young adults to call their own with no expectations. I wanted them to take ownership of the coffee shop using their gifts and talents together. It has become just that.
In 2016 I applied for my 501.3(c) and got it within 6 months. I have been running the organization since that time and am continuing to grow. The main idea is that the teens use their gifts and talents to run the shop, to serve one another and the community.
My husband Russ and two sons help a ton as this is a family ran business. Tyler helps at the shows where we meet people and share the why and what of Middle Grounds and have coffee beans, baskets, and mugs available for a donation. Tanner helps as a barista, fixes and builds new items when needed. Russ is very handy and helps when needed, along with snow removal and lawn care. I could not do it without their help.
Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have regarding Middle Grounds Teen Coffee Shop.
It is a great honor and privilege to have a safe place for the teens and young adults in the area.