Up & Coming Weekly

November 15, 2022

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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10 UCW NOVEMBER 16 - 22, 2022 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM HANNAH LEE, Assistant Editor. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Miller's Crew to open coffee shop in Haymount by HANNAH LEE A brand new coffee shop will be opening soon in Cumberland County, and this coffee shop plans to put purpose into every cup. Miller's Brew, operated by Kim Molnar and Miller's Crew, is planning a soft opening in December. Molnar worked at Cumberland County Schools for almost three decades as a speech-language pathologist and specialist. She noticed that chil- dren with developmental disabilities, particularly high school students, weren't given much-need- ed resources to qualify for jobs in the commu- nity. She saw this within the schools and with her son, who is autistic. e first goal for Miller's Crew, named after Molnar's son, Miller, was to create vocational work labs in high school special needs class- rooms. Miller's Crew met their initial goal in just three and a half years. Now they have installed or helped donate fully functioning training labs in ten different high schools across three counties. Phase two was the Miller's Crew food truck, which launched last year. e Cooking With e Crew food truck was established with the goal to provide job training, apprenticeship programs and employment op- portunities for young adults with developmental disabilities. It has become a staple at many events around Cumberland County. e food truck serves hot dogs, fries, grilled cheese, and tried and true food favorites, offering simple but delicious lunches. "With the food truck, we are able to take adults with special needs and train them with skills that they can use in some kind of employment," Mol- nar said. "We use our food truck as a training lab. We serve really good food, and we love being out in the community." Since the food truck launched, there has been a sharp increase of interest from families and indi- viduals who could benefit from the work Miller's Crew does. Molnar tells Up & Coming Weekly that when they launched, they were working with two crew members. Now, 15 families are interested and wanting to be involved. e plan was always to find a hub for Miller's Crew, but the large amount of interest from the community hurried the timeline. "We really wanted that phase three could accom- modate more adolescents and more adults with special needs to carry on with that skill set and then pipeline them to the businesses that we partner with," Molnar said. at dream was still a few years away. But with the success of the food truck and the large amount of in- terest from not just families, but also the community, phase three is coming a lot earlier that Molnar was planning. When the building they were looking at in the Haymount area became available to rent, Molnar said that they jumped on the opportunity. e new hub will be a coffee shop, called Mill- er's Brew. eir tagline: Purpose in Every Cup. "We believe everything they do in that building at that particular time with the training that we're providing, you know, there is purpose and they are learning a task that's going to carry over to something meaningful, whether it's in our coffee shop or in another coffee shop or another place of business. Everything we do while they're there is teaching and training," Molnar said. Molnar said she hopes families can see their training center, see their crew members, and know that their loved ones with learning and developmental disabilities will be okay. "It's my goal and my passion and my belief that if a family walks into our training company and gets a cup of coffee, talks to a speech therapist, but sees Miller at 23 years old making a cup of coffee, interacting with customers, learning how to do things that, you know, at three years old, we never would have dreamed that he would have done. Our training center will be the visual pathway for those families that they can look and go, 'Oh, he has autism or he has Down syndrome, or he has another developmental disorder. e future is not going to be so bad that I have to keep working,'" Molnar said. "We are hyper focused — we train and we teach to the caliber of what somebody would get if they're going into a 30 minute or 45 minute or an hour PTO/speech session. When they come in to see the staff at our training company, that's what they're getting. ey're get- ting really good opportunities to grow and learn." e coffee will come from a roaster in Aber- deen. ey will be serving basic coffee drinks, pastries and their famous food truck smoothies. ere is a plan for a soft opening in December and a grand opening to the public in January. e shop is located on the corner of Olive Road and Morganton Road, where the old BB&T bank was located. To find out more about Miller's Crew, where you can find their food truck, or how to get in- volved, visit their website at millerscrew.com. 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