Blend Coffee House brew up ways to help students

By RICK WATSON
Daily Mountain Eagle
rick.watson@mountaineagle.com
Posted 6/24/20

SUMITON – Joey and Nancy Clark opened The Blend Coffee House in a small building on Main Street in Sumiton in November 2018, but they quickly outgrew the space. 

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Blend Coffee House brew up ways to help students

Posted

SUMITON – Joey and Nancy Clark opened The Blend Coffee House in a small building on Main Street in Sumiton in November 2018, but they quickly outgrew the space. 

They needed more room to implement their vision of having a place to bring people together.

"Our vision is not just about selling coffee but impacting the community," Clark said.

The couple found a bigger space in the shopping center on Highway 78 across from Sumiton Church of God and Bevill State Community College. 

"It's a great location. We were able to put in a drive-through window, which allows us to have a bigger impact on the community," Clark said.

According to Clark, the couple wanted a place where young people could gather, hang out with friends, and have a good place to study. "We wanted to promote higher education," he said. 

The move worked because soon after The Blend moved into the new space, students from Bevill started coming into the coffee house to study.

One afternoon, Mrs. Clark overheard one of the high school students say that he needed to find a place to print one of his class projects. This got the couple thinking about other things students might need.

After doing some research, they came up with the idea of installing a student center, which includes, high-speed internet access, portable chargers for phones and laptops, and a printer. 

The printer allows students to print from phones, laptops, or other devices, according to Clark.

"Some of these students are struggling and stressing not because of what they have to learn, but they just couldn't get something printed out on time," Clark said.

The couple installed the student center around the first of June. Even though school is not currently meeting at Bevill State, Dora High School, or Sumiton Christian, some young people have expressed interest in the new offering. 

"The feedback has been very good," Clarks said. 

While the coffee house closed down during the early stages of the coronavirus, the Clarks used the down time to install a stage with a full sound system so that local students could hold poetry readings, art shows, and other events at the coffee house. 

After restrictions eased, people began looking for places that were open, according to Clark. 

The space is big enough that customers can maintain a safe social distance. They also have tables and chairs on the sidewalk. 

The couple also built an area they call The Blend Bistro, where they will offer soup and sandwiches.

The Blend is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. To learn more about The Blend, visit their Facebook page or on their website at www.theblend.biz.