Howard Schultz said “ I was taken by the power that a simple cup of coffee can have to connect people and create community.” New City Cafe and Roastery in Rochester, N.Y. is living proof that a cup of coffee can lead to many wonderful things. I had the pleasure to interview Nick Trombley, Executive Director of 441 Ministries. 

New City Cafe & Roastery is a program of 441 Ministries Beechwood. The official year that 441 Ministries began as a non-profit is 2012. The name reflects the location of where it all began, a multi use community outreach space purchased to provide programs in the Beechwood community.  Over the next ten years 441 Ministries became more connected with the Beechwood community. Some members of 441 Ministries moved into the Beechwood area. Programs that facilitated building connections within the community were held at the community outreach space. These programs helped to build great relationships with kids and families, a community garden, a weekly summer bike repair clinic along with partnerships with other churches and community organizations   On the actual day of holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas there are community meals, however COVID has put a pause on this. 441 Ministries Beechwood values the skills and assets that everyone brings. All are welcome and everyone has something to offer.

All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That’s one of the things that connects us as neighbors—in our own way, each one of us is a giver and a receiver.”Fred Rogers

When space opened up in the 441 Ministries Beechwood building they went to the youth and community members of Beechwood for ideas of how to use the space. Decisions on programs have always included the wants and needs of the community. What do Beechwood community members feel would benefit the community? The essence of the work 441 Ministries Beechwood is inspired by faith filled with love and service. As they became part of the Beechwood community the programs developed were in the spirit of cooperation and participation. In this case the teenagers wanted jobs and they wanted jobs in the Beechwood community. What came from that is the New City Cafe and Roastery. 

Unity is strength..when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” Mattie Stepanek

New City Cafe and Roastery is a coffee shop cafe “building sustainable change: body, mind, soul, and spirit.” Having experienced this magical place it feels like love and the delicious beverages made my belly happy and my heart smile. Teenagers and young adults from the Beechwood community are hired to work there. When a  teenager or young adult is hired to work at New City Cafe they do not need to have the knowledge base and skill set of all things coffee shop. Learning new skills is expected. Each new employee is paired with a mentor where weekly meetings focus on the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of the employee. An integral part of this coffee shop is providing a supportive learning experience that fosters growth and achievement for each employee in all areas of their life. Successes are celebrated. If support is needed in other areas, such as school work, tutoring help will be given. Everyone supports one another. Teamwork truly makes this dream work. 

Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” Helen Keller

Another ingredient of the New City Cafe is the roastery. Nick, a lover of coffee himself, has immersed himself in learning all things coffee roasting. There is intention in the selection of the coffee beans chosen to make the coffee. All products sold, including the coffee and the beans, are selected on the quality, where the coffee beans originated from, how to support other local businesses, and price. Soon, due to the purchase of a near-by building, roasting of the coffee beans will be just across the street. The idealistic and intentional way New City Cafe works is to create a sustainable core for Beechwood community members to benefit from. This isn’t just about coffee. This is about providing continuous support and opportunities for community members to give to and receive from.

I was fortunate to spend time with Ms. Denise who worked at New City Cafe, and lives upstairs from the cafe with her cat Lucy. During our conversation Miss Denise expressed feeling welcome and being a part of this community. She talked about being valued for who she is, the ideas she brings to the group, and bearing witness of the experience’s for all who come to be part of this special cafe. 

Love is in the air and it smells like coffee.” Unknown

Nick shared that 441 Ministries and New City Cafe views everyone as whole people. This Christian non-profit’s mission is to foster “hope, healing, and holistic development to the Beechwood community.” Despite the pandemic New City Cafe sales have continued to grow. John Lee, founder of New City Cafe, had a vision of building a business that invests in teenagers and young adults by hiring them. As this business grows it provides the economic opportunity in Beechwood to do that. Just like a delicious cup of coffee, New City Cafe & Roastery and the Beechwood community have created a blend of goodness where people bring out the best in one another. 

With honor our Kindness Champion Spotlight shines on New City Cafe and Roastery in Rochester, N.Y.  We thank you for being you and bringing your awesome to the world.

To learn more about the amazing New City Cafe & Roastery here is their information. If you live in the Rochester New York area I recommend going there to get some delicious coffee and eats!

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