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Broken Bean coffee shop opening up in downtown

by Minden Press-Herald

The Broken Bean will open its doors to the public Saturday with a variety of coffees and lunch specials to satisfy any palate.

Opening its doors at 7 a.m., students and staff from Louisiana Adult and Teen Challenge will be ready to offer the coffee specialty of the customer’s choice.

Shasta Jones, a student at Teen Challenge from Lake Charles, prepares coffee mixes at The Broken Bean. She has been a student at Louisiana Adult and Teen Challenge for 10 months.

Pastor Andy Jenkins, director of the Minden Teen Challenge, said The Broken Bean came about as the combining of two visions between First United Methodist Church, and Minden Teen Challenge to open the coffee shop.

“We were looking at a piece of property on the brick side of the road, and I had a lease in hand,” Jenkins said. “I was about to sign the lease, and my secretary at First Assembly (of God) texted me and said I needed to call Pastor (Brian) Mercer because the church bought the house and was going to open a coffee shop in it.”

Jenkins commended FUMC, saying throughout the process the church has been helpful and the house is perfect for what they want.

“It’s like this house was made for this,” he said.

With its “upcycled” look and homestyle feel, the coffee shop gives patrons a place to rest and relax. The tables are products of other pieces of materials, such as the use of old restaurant-style table legs with wooden spool tops, or on the back porch with bistro-style tables with stools set in soft lighting.

The living room offers coffee drinkers a place to sit and visit.

In the “miracle room,” patrons will see on the walls the success stories of Minden Teen Challenge with a short synopsis of their stories and before and after photos.

Minden Teen Challenge is a free, faith-based program for pregnant women and women with children who have addictions. It is an 18-month program where the women live and are able to work through their addictions and not have to worry about their children.

Jenkins said the Minden facility is only one in nine in the state offering long-term recovery for women with children, and one in eight that take in pregnant women.

The Broken Bean offers a clean, shaded back porch for patrons to sit and visit with their specialty coffees. The tables and stools are products of “upcycled” materials.

The goal is to provide as much income as they can by their own hands. Each center throughout the state has its own micro-enterprise. The men’s center in Natchitoches Parish roasts coffee beans. The Minden center has done things to make and sell, such as handmade jewelry and candles to provide a small income. The centers also receive contributions, Jenkins said.

Jewelry and candles made by the students are on sale at The Broken Bean. Coffee, either ground or whole, is also sold separately. The coffee shop also offers the popular K-style cups. All profit goes back into Teen Challenge.

Christina Clontz, the first mother with young children to go through Minden Teen Challenge, said she is grateful and humbled to see the program grow in the four years it has been opened in Evergreen.

“I’ve seen so many things come to pass,” she said. “Now with the coffee shop opening, seeing Teen Challenge grow blows my mind. You see all the time the visions that people have for ministry, but it always stays a vision. So to see Teen Challenge grow with this coffee shop is amazing.”

On Good Friday, April 14, at 3 p.m., The Broken Bean will host its ribbon-cutting ceremony with special guests. Louisiana Adult and Teen Challenge CEO Greg Dill and his wife Gail, who is the chief financial officer, will be in attendance. Gary Bentley, COO for the state, and his wife, Sandy, will be there as well, along with Mercer, FUMC church members, students and staff from Minden Teen Challenge and business and community leaders.

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