Their coffee shop, the Karma Kafé and Find Junque, actually stems from the Building Bridges Youth Theatre Group. All nine kids, varying in age, participate in the group’s shows that run throughout the summer.
The volunteer organization also allows the kids the opportunity to choose what they do with their percentage of the profit at the end of the summer. This is the group’s fourth season and they have been pooling their profits since 2014.
Resoundingly, they believe in good karma, exemplified by their intentions at summers’ end.
“I’m going to give it back,” said one young girl.
“I don’t do this for money. I do this for fun,” said another.
It is through reinvesting last summer’s profits that the idea for the Karma Kafé came to be. It is scheduled to open soon in Newtown.
Florence Cross, a retired teacher and the group’s artistic director, said the kids’ answers reaffirm her efforts.
“There’s the magic,” she said. “Give the kids the right path and they’ll always choose it.”
The café will serve coffee and snacks, as well as provide a safe place for the kids to congregate. The kids themselves won’t be working the tables but Florence said the opportunity to help out and watch the business grow is a good experience for them.
Olivia Cross, one of the most vocal in the group, spoke to the importance of building something for the youth in town.
“I think the café is more of a place for the community,” she said. “For the youth to go there and have somewhere to feel safe.”
The consensus among the kids is through volunteerism, a community is born.
Leah Perry, a dance instructor affiliated with the theatre group, said she is continually impressed by the worldliness of the children.
“They’re already looking towards their futures. When I was that age, I certainly wasn’t,” she said. “The fact that they’re already invested in their community, in their futures, is excellent.”
The Karma Kafé also plans to launch an anti-bullying campaign this fall, just another way that this group is looking to give back.
“I think it speaks to where this generation is going,” said Perry.