FAQs Regarding Fresh Grounds

Is Fresh Grounds a job training program or a real coffee house?

Both. As a nonprofit social enterprise, it provides trainees critical employment skills and experience and offers the community an attractive gathering place. The community also benefits from it as a source of trained and tested job candidates.

Why is Fresh Grounds called a social enterprise?

It is built on a self-supporting business model that also serves a social purpose—in this case, a tangible path to self-sufficiency for young people who experience challenges to employment such as homelessness and disability.

How does the Fresh Grounds customer experience compare to that of traditional coffee houses?

It offers patrons more than what large chains or most other independent coffee houses are able to provide. With a newly remodeled interior, free off-street parking and Wi-Fi access, appreciative service, a broad menu of premium food choices and Starbucks coffee…

What happens to the profit made at Fresh Grounds?

100 percent of our profits goes back into sustaining the training program.

How are Fresh Grounds trainees selected?

Trainees are recruited from the Seventh Landing supportive housing program, located in the same building as the Café, as well from area drop-in centers, shelters, and schools that serve youth and young adults with challenges. The training program covers both hard and soft skills and its mission is to jump-start vocational engagement and assist youth in finding market employment post training.

What is RS EDEN?

RS EDEN is a multi-faceted community human service agency that facilitates positive change in the areas of supportive housing, chemical dependency, and corrections. RS EDEN is strongly committed to deconstructing barriers to employment and helping people become self-sufficient and productive. More information about RS EDEN, which owns and operates both Seventh Landing and Fresh Grounds Café, is available at www.rseden.org.

Are Fresh Grounds employees paid for their work?

Yes. Trainees are paid a stipend upon completing a brief but intensive training course, and then in a longer paid internship experience. Trainees experience on-going incentives for good work through pay checks, tips, and the possibility of promotions to roles of higher leadership in the shop.

Is Fresh Grounds completely self-sustaining?

Fresh Grounds relies increasingly on sales, and additionally on grants from area nonprofit foundations, private and corporate donations, and sponsorship from Starbucks. RS EDEN has gratefully received support from the Partners Fund, Otto Bremer, Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, Catalyst Kitchens, the Turner Foundation, and Sundance Foundations and Design Ready Controls. To ensure that the training program remains vital and that we expand capacity in numbers of trainees and positive outcomes, Fresh Grounds will likely always rely on this combination of support.

Help Our Mission

As a non-profit social service program, Fresh Grounds relies on donations. 100% of our profits go back into our programming. Your patronage and donations double as an investment in our youth, our community, and our future.