THIS MONTH: HomeBrew opens, signs of hope go up, & more!
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NOW OPEN: OneHeart's HomeBrew Coffee Shop

“This is so exciting!”

It is impossible for Summer Wilson to hide her feelings about her new job. The former bakery owner is the first official manager of the HomeBrew Coffee Shop, located at 201 Kansas City Street, in the heart of the OneHeart campus.

After many hours of training and a soft opening last month, Summer and her crew of two are now serving coffee and other goodies from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Monday through Friday.

“I am so excited to be part of the OneHeart and HomeBrew programs,” Summer said. “There has been a desperate need in Rapid City to aid the hidden homeless for years … We want a hand up, not a handout, and OneHeart provides the safety, support, and ability to improve ourselves.”

Summer says she survived abuse and trauma throughout her life, but she was determined to break the cycle in her own family.

While she had never managed a coffee shop before now, she has worked in several food and customer service jobs over the years, even opening her own specialty dessert shop in 2019.

“The business was doing well, the customer base was building, until I lost everything when Covid affected the area,” Summer said. “I was homeless and struggling harder than ever, dealing with the loss of my shop, health, and family issues.”

In seeking help from one of OneHeart's referral partners in February, a case manager told her about the campus and asked if she was interested.

“I did some research and asked for a referral,” Summer said.

During initial conversations with OneHeart staff, a care coordinator inquired about whether Summer liked or knew anything about coffee.

“Since I love coffee, have prior management, clerical, baking, and bookkeeping experience, I applied for the HomeBrew manager position,” she said.

And the rest is OneHeart history.

Summer says opening HomeBrew is "bittersweet" because she thought she lost everything when she closed her shop last year.

"Instead, the dream and passion I had is still there," she said. "And it has morphed into another realm of interactions with gastronomic goodness and customer service!”

How the coffee shop came to be…

Leadership and staff decided early in the planning phase of the OneHeart campus that they wanted to incorporate a social enterprise space on the property.

A “social enterprise” can take many forms - from thrift store to call center – and can serve a variety of purposes – from filling a community need to generating income.

A working lab group from Cadre 3 of the John T. Vucurevich Foundation’s Emerging Leaders fellowship program was tasked with further developing the social enterprise concept for OneHeart. They considered several options before settling on a coffee shop. They named it HomeBrew, chose a logo, a slogan – “Hope for a home in every cup!” – and drafted a basic business plan.

“The JTVF Emerging Leaders guided this work with the caveat that it be a community gathering place,” OneHeart Executive Director Charity Doyle said.

Besides being one of the only places on campus that is open to the public, any profits generated at HomeBrew will help to support the nonprofit OneHeart campus. The coffee shop also serves as a training ground for OneHeart guests interested in working in food service or the hospitality industry.

Customers can get a cup of joe and a bite to eat, but Doyle hopes they also get a “sense of innovation in the human service experience" when they walk through the doors of HomeBrew.

“The café has a light, airy feeling, and the staff members are upbeat and can often be found engaging customers in conversation,” she said.

The shop also has a feature called "HomeRun," a wall of products ranging from coffee beans roasted by Rapid City's Pure Bean coffeehouse, to convenience items such as headache medicine and fingernail clippers. Special HomeBrew mugs and travel tumblers created by OneHeart's own Director of Operations & Residential Life, Wayne Asscherick, are available for purchase as well.

Thank you, Pure Bean!
A heartfelt "thanks" goes out to Pure Bean for partnering with HomeBrew!

Not only did owner Nick Reid offer advice on equipment and other aspects of running a coffeehouse, he and staff members also sat in on employee interviews and trained HomeBrew staff. Below, Pure Bean's Nathan Alyea teaches new baristas the ins and outs of the espresso machine.

OneHeart signage installed across campus

Walmart Community Grant
OneHeart is excited to announce that we have received a $1,000 grant from Walmart Giving.

The grant funds, which were awarded by the south-side Walmart store in Rapid City, will bolster OneHeart's Guest Welcome Fund.

Thank you, Walmart, for your support of our campus community!
'Focus' on OneHeart
The OneHeart campus was featured on the May edition of "Focus with Jack Caudill" on Black Hills FOX.

The 30-minute community issues program includes interviews with Executive Director Charity Doyle, Transformation Director Chad Ratigan, and RCAS McKinney-Vento Homeless Coordinator Anita Deranleau. Check it out HERE.


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