RIVIERA BEACH, FL. (Jan. 18, 2022) – A café that not only offers brewed gourmet coffee and freshly baked pasties, but prepares its student baristas to become empowered entrepreneurs, is coming to the City of Riviera Beach.
The Riviera Beach Café, located in the lobby of the Riviera Beach Public Library, 2129 N. Congress Ave., is opening on Monday, Jan. 24 at 8 a.m. with remarks from City officials and a ribbon cutting.
The unique café will employ five to six local students ages 16 and up. The budding entrepreneurs will be paid $15 an hour to serve bagels, breakfast sandwiches, muffins, pastries, coffee, lattes, espresso, tea, hot panini sandwiches, cold sandwiches, water, juices and chips, Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Students, who will receive a Servesafe Certification and barista and hospitality training, will structure their work schedules around their classes.
The café, manned by the youth, means much more than merely making lattes. It’s about learning and life experience.
“This concept will provide economic empowerment not only to student employees, but to the citizens of Riviera Beach,” said Valerie Grimsley, Director of the Emerging Community Center and Youth Empowerment Programs at the Library. “If we place a greater emphasis on providing positive experiences and training to our youth on the front end, it lessens the likelihood those students will end up taking the negative path in life. Positive engagements build character, trust and pride that will be shown during a life time.”
The café will also provide a pleasant experience for the public at the Library, where families will be able to enjoy a meal together while participating in educational programs. Patrons can enjoy reading while having a cup of coffee, Danish and delight in the peaceful atmosphere at the Library either sitting inside or outside in the back of the Library at the picnic tables.
Patrons will be able to order online, by phone, or in person. The café will also provide curbside service.
The idea for the innovative concept was birthed while the City was retrofitting the new Library location last year.
“We wanted to create an atmosphere that would speak to the entire community,” Grimsley said. “The Café would also offer community students an opportunity to participate in an innovative
student program that would offer empowerment through economics, entrepreneurship and education.”
Palm Beach County Youth Services is assisting the City’s Youth Empowerment in offsetting the salary cost for the student employees. Career Source Young Adult program will also become a business partner that will provide student interns for the purpose of training and work experience. Students assigned by Career Source will be paid their salary through Career Source.
Public Information Officer