Cafes are a dime-a-dozen in Brooklyn, to be sure, but it looks like one brand new Bed-Stuy coffeshop’s out to do more than caffeinate the neighborhood; Re-Connect Cafe, which just opened on the corner of Vernon Ave. and Tompkins Ave, is actually run by a community outreach organization that aims to help wayward youth around the borough.
The organization, appropriately dubbed Re-Connect Brooklyn, is aimed at young men between the ages of 17 and 25 years old who are looking to get off the streets, get jobs and get into small businesses. The organization started setting up fresh produce stands around Bed-Stuy earlier this year, and the new cafe and bakery, located at 139 Tompkins Ave, has been in the works for a while; it finally opened three days ago, and it’s ready for business.
“We’re trying to develop alternative options in the neighborhood for young guys looking for a positive path,” Jim O’Shea, Re-Connect’s director, told us today. “We want to make sure they’ve got some work opportunities and are earning money, while encouraging them to become leaders in the neighborhood.” Right now, Re-Connect’s got fifteen young men working the cafe and bakery, which has free wifi and serves muffins, pastries and other tasty eats in addition to coffee. Drip coffee runs $1.50-$2, an espresso is $2 and specialty drinks vary in price; according to a Redditor, the iced coffee’s not too shabby either.