After deciding to temporarily close its doors at the end of March, A 2nd Cup, the coffee shop that helps fight against human trafficking, immediately switched gears to serve the community in another way.
The Heights coffee spot at 1111 E. 11th St. launched Pandemic Pantry the day after closing as a way to offer items that were beginning to be difficult to find in grocery stores, such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer, along with popular items from the shop.
While the shop was closed, customers could still get their coffee fix through the pantry by ordering a half-gallon of iced lattes, mochas, cold brews and fresh house-made cookies.
Operating the pantry during the closure also provided staff members with working hours.
Since reopening for to-go and curbside pick-up on May 8, with its full drink menu and a limited food menu, A 2nd Cup has kept the pantry up and running.
“We’ve continued to add items to the pantry like pizza kits and sugar cookie decorating kits for some fun at-home activities, Mother’s Day brunch kits to celebrate the women in the world, grilling kits for Memorial Day and soon we’ll be adding some kits for Father’s Day,” founder Erica Raggett said.
Raggett also said the Pandemic Pantry will continue to run as long as supplies last and it benefits the community. Customers can order from the pantry by visiting https://a2ndcupshop.square.site/s/order, and then pick up their order during the current daily operating hours of 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
The pantry also has allowed the shop to continue supporting its cause.
“One of the main ways we work to fight labor trafficking is through sourcing fair trade and ethically made products,” Raggett said. “Maintaining a presence through Pandemic Pantry has enabled us to continue to sell and highlight products that utilize fair labor practices. It has also allowed us to continue providing for our staff who are integral to the work we do to raise awareness about human trafficking. All of our profits go back into fighting human trafficking through raising awareness about the issue and investing in aftercare for survivors.”
A 2nd Cup previously had a culinary training program for survivors of trafficking that Raggett said the shop looks forward to relaunching in the future. She said the continued sales through the Pandemic Pantry along with regular shop items will enable that to happen.