Winnsboro, SC (WLTX) - A new coffee shop in Winnsboro is serving hope along with a hot drink.
Growing Beans is the not your average coffee shop. Located inside The Artists Coop, the coffee shop is operated by Christ Central Ministries.
The employees of the coffee shop have struggled with alcohol, drug abuse and homelessness, but now are on the road to recovery.
Phillip Byrd is going to operate the shop. He understands recovery. Byrd said, "I was very sick. I had demons in my life that brought me down, alcoholism, and I needed help."
Byrd also understands how substance abuse can take over a life. He said, "I was married, a minister of music in church. I would say I was doing well."
He struggled with alcohol for about 35 years, now sober, he is ready for a new opportunity. Byrd said, "Very excited because I love people. I love meeting people. I love hearing their stories."
The stories of the people working with Byrd are just as important. The men and women who will work at the shop have also struggled with addiction and homelessness, but now are in a transition phase.
"It helps them with their self-worth. It gets them back into society. It puts them into a role where they can be helpful to people," said Jimmy Burroughs. He is the director of Christ Central Ministries in Winnsboro.
Christ Central Ministries in Winnsboro currently houses 14 people. Some of those will be serving coffee in the shop while working on changing their lives.
Burroughs said, "I think that dealing with the public is going to help these guys and ladies, to see that they are part of something that is good and they can get back and start their life over."
Bryd understands about starting over. He hopes he can be an example of recovery for the men and women at the shop.
He said, "We have a lot of alcoholism and addiction around us, but these are wonderful people. A lot of them are just trying to make it in life."
Growing Beans is located inside The Artists Coop art gallery on Congress Street in Winnsboro. The grand opening for the coffee shop and art gallery will be Thursday.