CUPs Coffeehouse is dedicated to bringing you great coffee and food. Through food and beverage sales we are committed to creating opportunities for local youth with employment barriers, such as low education attainment, former incarceration and mental health challenges while also building community. CUPs works directly with Project I CAN, a program of Fusion Partnerships, to provide hands-on workforce development for disconnected youth living in Baltimore City. Our youth get first jobs and second chances at CUPs Coffeehouse.
We are raising money on iFundWomen in order to build up our capacity in offering employment, training, and mentorship opportunities to Baltimore area youth with employment barriers and to make our business more sustainable. Half of raised funds will go toward supporting our youth interns and their training, with dedicated training sessions outside of store hours, permanent training equipment and materials, and work clothes and shoes for our youth in need. The other half of funds will go toward marketing and catering to boost sustainable streams of revenue and elevate CUPs and the work you are supporting when you donate.
The work we do at CUPs is not easy, but it is absolutely essential and we can't continue doing it without you. Thank you!
The goal benchmarks are as follows:
$12,000 - Training Sessions - We want to have dedicated off-hour training sessions for youth. These make sure youth maximize their training time and get acclimated to the kitchen environment faster, ensuring their successful learning.
$3,000 - Training Manuals - Creating permanent training materials is a one-time cost toward the sustainability of CUPs and the success of our youth. Specialized materials also target our youth who may struggle with literacy and other barriers.
$3,000 - Kitchen Equipment - This one-time cost will upgrade our kitchen and allow us to increase our store capacity, expand our menu, and give youth on-hand experience with more of the tools they will be tested on during restaurant certification.
$7,000 - Marketing - CUPs will use these funds to boost our brand and increase revenue and foot traffic. Targets include adding CUPs branding to our catering van and increasing CUPs's street corner presence. We cater all over Baltimore City and a lot of car traffic passes our store; more visible branding will allow us to use these opportunities to bring in more customers.
$20,000 - Catering Team Upgrade - Catering is our largest source of revenue and we would like to invest into this side of the business to maximize capacity and revenue. This includes upgrading our catering van's capacity, increasing our catering equipment supply to fit a wider variety of jobs, and adding more branded material to generate interest and repeat business.
$5,000 - Work Wardrobe - This last benchmark is for us to help our youth workers get work-appropriate clothing. This is important to help our youth who often have limited closets get new clothes and feel more like part of the CUPs team, and it is also important to provide them with kitchen-safe shoes.
CUPs (Creating Unlimited Possibilities) got its start from a passion and a problem -- a passion for great lattes and helping young people realize their full potential, and the problem that neither was readily available in the Hollins Market neighborhood where co-founders Holly Shook and Brian Gray live. They created CUPs Coffeehouse as an answer for both.
At CUPs Coffeehouse, we believe that without additional opportunities to gain necessary job, communication, and life skills, a legacy of unemployment, insufficient income levels, above-average arrest rates, and parental absenteeism will continue. Job opportunities must be made accessible to people who want to want to break these cycles, in an environment focused on training and developing practical job and life skills that are transferable to any career or life circumstance.
CUPs Coffeehouse works directly with Project I CAN - a program of Fusion Partnerships, to provide opportunities for disconnected youth living in Baltimore City. CUPs Coffeehouse is dedicated to providing a great coffeehouse experience and changing lives in our community.
We believe there is a place for everyone at CUPs Coffeehouse, and we welcome your desire to become a part of the CUPs family. Whether you are looking for a job, a volunteer opportunity, a creative space, a fresh start, or a great cup of coffee, join us at CUPs Coffeehouse!