About Our Fresh Grounds Training Program

Fresh Grounds Café is more than a favorite neighborhood coffee shop serving up fresh coffee, pastries, and home made sandwiches, it also serves youth, young adults and the wider community. How? By training, teaching and employing young people who want to work.

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


The Fresh Grounds Café has evolved into a full service café with loyal partnerships in the local community.

A formal training curriculum offers young people a fun and fast–paced vocational “jump start” and includes:
  • A 4-week, on-the-job curriculum that trains youth in all aspects of Café service and Barista skills.
  • A 4-week concurrent vocational workshop that assists young people be prepared for subsequent employment such as creating a resume and/or interviewing a person in a career of their choice.
  • A stipend upon completion, and linkage to employment opportunities at Fresh Grounds or in the community.
Who is a good candidate for the training program?
  • Young people 15-24 who experience challenges to employment.
  • Young people 15-24 who experience homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.
  • Young people 15-24 who like the idea of working in a friendly, supported environment, learning to make espresso drinks, and interacting with great customers.
What are the outcomes of the training program?
  • 100% of training graduates get an introduction to a realistic and supported work experience.
  • 100% of training graduates are linked to basic resources that support independence.
  • 100% of training graduates are better prepared to enter the workforce.
  • 70% of training graduates get linked to subsequent employment or education.

For more information, please contact the Fresh Grounds Café Vocational Specialist, Kathy Coolidge, at 651-291-3842 or kcoolidge@rseden.org.


Was in the area for a business appointment and looking for a quick lunch - came across Fresh Grounds next door. Menu had a good selection of breakfast and lunch items, along with a full array of coffee and tea beverages. Chose the St. Paul Breakfast Sandwich - eggs, cheese, veggies, salsa, sour cream on a tortilla. It was huge and easily could have served two. Prices for breakfast and lunch items are $7 to $8, which was very reasonable for the portions. The sandwich was very good. An iced tea was also very good. This is a busy place for lunch on a weekday. Staff helpful and friendly.

I was pleased to learn that Fresh Grounds is a non-profit that provides job training for youth and others in need.
– Andrew E.

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.