This Midtown coffee shop is brewing java with a purpose

It’s all about connecting people with one another.

That’s the message Midtown’s latest café and coffee shop is hoping to send from its new location on 3rd Street.

AWAKE Café features small batch, single origin coffee from Honduras, with direct connections to the farmers and workers themselves.

"We started a coffee farm in Honduras with locals running it. We sell it here in Detroit to help pay them a livable wage," says Tonweya Sherman, manager of AWAKE Café.

"Our target goal is to provide jobs to locals there so families can stay together."The coffee at AWAKE Café is sourced from Honduras.

Sherman carries tea from Memphis-based My Cup of Tea, a company that serves as a ministry and jobs skills-training course for women in poverty. The company also carries baked goods from the Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s On the Rise Bakery Café in Detroit, which employs men that have either been released from prison or recently completed substance abuse treatment programs.

Indeed, AWAKE Café is a mission-based organization itself; the coffee shop was started by the Indiana-based Evangelistic Faith Missions. And while Christian outreach is a goal, management wants to make clear that the coffee shop is open to everyone.

"We’re owned by a mission but this is a fully-functioning business where the customers don’t have to necessarily be part of the mission," Sherman says.

"We are open to everyone in the neighborhood. This mission was started to foster connections between people."

The coffee shop has been operating under a soft opening since first unlocking its doors on Friday, March 22. AWAKE is currently open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with plans to expand its days of operation soon.

AWAKE Café is located at 4224 3rd St. in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood.

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.