Youth-Focused Coffeehouse Stays Open Despite COVID

What’s happening?

A longtime youth-focused non-profit operating a coffee shop in Belair has been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Just the fact that we could keep lights on, keep the bills paid and more importantly, pay our staff and interns, is a miracle,” said Holly Shook, founder of Project I Can and CUPS Coffee. Without the assistance of grants, “we would not have made it,” she continued. 

Project I Can runs a paid internship program where young people make and serve coffee, waffles, and wraps at CUPS Coffeehouse. After the year-long internship, students are also expected to walk away with organizational and social development skills.

How can I support this program? 

CUPS Coffee, which makes most of its money through catering, saw a 60% drop in sales since the pandemic interrupted the food service industry. The company has expanded its online offerings to boost funds and is focusing more on its catering business, where they don’t just make items on the menu. “If it’s not on the menu, ask,” Shook told The Washington Business Journal. 

Anything else I should know? 

CUPs, which stands for Creating Unlimited Possibilities, celebrated its ninth anniversary on Oct. 1. 

You can read more here. 


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