After speaking with Roger and pitching our idea, Roger Schmidt and RREC Real Estate and Construction became our real estate angels. We would not be here if it were not for him. RREC donated our cafe space to us to allow us to host the Summer Youth Employment program and subsequent programming in the space. Many community partners assisted with funding to build out the space. We have hosted the Summer Youth Employment Initiative for the past two summers at the cafe space with approximately 10 middle school and high school interns each summer. This summer was going to be no different, except, we were planning to open the cafe and hold regular hours of operation beginning in March. Our goal was to build momentum for the Cafe and provide the interns with an even more engaged business experience.
In late February, we received notice that we’d been approved for grant funding through the City of Kalamazoo that ultimately assisted us with the purchase and installation of our beautiful signage and we received a technical assistance grant to help us build a more robust website and support our social media presence. We are so grateful to Kal-Blue for their fabrication and installation of our signage. It is amazing! No one would know our story the way they do without the expertise and support of Shimonta Dickerson and She Does Consulting. We are grateful to the entire team at iDeed Designs for the work they have been doing with our website. It truly takes a village to raise a child and it takes an even greater village to support a child with a dream and a growing business. So, when we are asked, “How did you get here?”
All we can say is it is because of each of you who shared Layla’s dream and helped to make it a reality that we are here. And for that, we say, “Thank YOU!” We wouldn’t be here without you!