About Fresh Grounds Cafe & Catering

History

Fresh Grounds Cafe is a welcoming neighborhood coffee shop and catering business serving up fresh coffee, pastries, and homemade sandwiches. It also serves youth, young adults, and the wider community. How? By training and employing young people who have experienced homelessness, disabilities, and other challenges to mainstream employment.

Fresh Grounds Cafe was developed in 2004 as a social enterprise by RS EDEN to enhance access to vocational development opportunities for youth living in Seventh Landing supportive housing program. Supportive housing is a model that combines housing with flexible, recovery-focused services, which allows people gain stability, health, and integrate into the community. Seventh Landing residents were instrumental in the original development and build out of the Cafe. The name "Fresh Grounds," signifies a fresh start, which holds important meaning for youth emerging from homelessness.

Over the years, Fresh Grounds Cafe has evolved into a full-service cafe and catering business with loyal partnerships and patrons in the local community. It has trained hundreds of youth and young adults in work and life skills, leading to greater stability and employability in our community.

Why is Fresh Grounds Cafe called a social enterprise?

Social enterprises are organizations that address a basic unmet needier solve a social problem through a market-driven approach. Fresh Grounds Cafe was developed with the mission to provide opportunity employment to young people who experience barriers to mainstream employment, and ultimately with the mission to end homelessness in our community.

What is the Fresh Grounds Cafe customer experience?

Fresh Ground Cafe offers patrons a unique, welcoming, and quality dining and catering experience. With free off-street parking and wi-fi access, appreciative service, a broad menu of premium food choices, and catering service to your location, Fresh Grounds Cafe delivers more than a typical coffee house chain. The Cafe also gives customers the satisfaction of supporting a mission and strengthening a community.

What is RS EDEN?

RS EDEN is a multi-faceted community human service agency that facilitates positive change in the areas of supportive housing, substance use disorder treatment, and corrections. RS EDEN is committed to deconstructing the 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 Cafe is available atwww.rseden.org.

Are Fresh Grounds Cafe employees paid for their work?

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

Is Fresh Grounds Cafe completely self-sustaining?

Fresh Grounds Cafe relies on sales from catering and in-house customers as well as contributions from area nonprofit foundations, private and corporate donations, and sponsorship from the Starbucks Foundation. RS EDEN has gratefully received support from the Partners Fund, Otto Bremer, Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, Catalyst Kitchens, the Turner Foundation, and the Archie D. & Bertha H. Walker Foundation. To ensure that the training program remains vital and that we expand capacity in numbers of trainees and positive outcomes, Fresh Grounds Cafe relies on this support alongside sales revenues.

Questions?

If you have further questions about the model or the mission of the Cafe, please contact Kynda Stull at kstull@rseden.org

This place has a wonderful feeling about it. And, the BEST oatmeal I've ever eaten, can't wait until next week to go back there again.
– Fresh Grounds Customer

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.