B3 Coffee Pops Up at Morris Grove Elementary
Staff and visitors at Morris Grove Elementary School (MGES) received a Monday morning treat on November 25 when B3 Coffee set up shop in the lobby to sell coffee drinks, hot chocolate and tea. The slogan for B3 is “Creating a space where everyone belongs, one cup at a time,” and that space at MGES was festive and lively for two hours, with the smells of fresh coffee filling the hallways.
B3 Coffee, or Best Buddies Brews, is a pop-up coffee stand dedicated to providing specialty coffee and service with friendly smiles, founded by members of UNC-Chapel Hill's Best Buddies chapter. The nonprofit business is the brainchild of Jacklyn Googins, student in the UNC Masters Program in Occupational Therapy. Googins served as an intern at MGES last year, while still an undergraduate at UNC, and she also volunteered for several years with older students in the Exceptional Children’s program who need transition services to become employed or enter post-secondary training after high school.
“I met many of the current B3 baristas through my involvement with CHCCS, as these students were some of the first supporters of my idea to start B3 Coffee,” Googins said. “They have been leaders in its development and continued growth. They have embraced B3 Coffee as a platform to form friendships, gain valuable work-related experience, and connect with the community.”
“We are also fortunate to have current CHCCS students involved as B3 Baristas. One of our baristas/CHCCS alumna, Anna Coleman, connected us with Chris Gibson, the Transition Facilitator at East Chapel Hill High School,” said Googins. “Since then, we have recruited several volunteers from East Chapel Hill High School. In the spring, we plan to host a B3 Barista training for students in the OCS program there.”
Coleman said, “I like B3 because I like meeting people. Plus, Jacklyn and (project manager) Hannah are awesome people to work with. We make one of the best cups of coffee in the world!”
Googins said, “We have had great experiences hosting pop-ups at schools within the district. So far, we have served coffee to teachers and staff at Morris Grove and Phillips Middle School, and we hope to continue extending our impact within the district.”
“B3” encompasses the goals of Being, Belonging and Becoming, representing core values, symbolized through coffee, friendship, and community. The organization strives to provide a sustainable platform for people of all abilities to engage with the community, develop marketable skills, and showcase the value of their contributions. As their website says, “One cup at a time, we are influencing change toward a more inclusive and equitable world.”