Blacc Vanilla Celebrates Anniversary With Announcement
of New Community Foundation
By Michael Lebron
Melanie Collins and Jarad Lang, founders of the Blacc Vanilla Cafe that has been an immensely popular community gathering place from the day it opened, announced on Tuesday the creation of The Blacc Vanilla Community Foundation (BVCF) at a press conference held at their storefront on South Street.
The social venture organization aims to promote economic self sufficiency through an array of skills development and job training programs for the city’s underserved and at-risk youth and young adults. “Our young people need skills and they need jobs” said Edward Larson, president of FACES, Inc, a local consulting firm and a member of BVCF’s core operating team. “BVCF will provide both and will also raise the profile of our community with viable businesses that will do well while doing good”.
Among the programs at the core of the foundation’s efforts will be:
– Blacc Vanilla roasters, a coffee roasting social venture designed to grow local jobs in BV‘s core industry while providing training for young residents to fill those jobs
– a partnership with Choice Films and Umbra Stages called “Below the Line Summer Boot Camp”, a skills development and job training initiative for film production.
– a partnership with MyFOURmula Inc., a life coaching practice that will focus on developing life skills of BVCF program participants including soft skills and self-care, as well as holistic health and wellness practices.
Said Melanie: “Our vision is to transform Newburgh into a thriving hub of craft, culture, community and coffee! The programs we are unveiling today are a big step toward brining that vision to fruition. This community has supported us through our first year of operating the Cafe and we plan to help them the best way we know how … by preparing them for meaningful careers. We’re just getting started.”
(Photo by Michael Lebron)