With their first year anniversary coming up in May, RedTail Coffee continues to grow and strive towards bettering the community by creating awareness of homelessness.
Seth and Kelly Kelley, owners of RedTail Coffee, partnered with the RedTail Ponds development, housing for homeless and low-income individuals, to focus on providing job and training opportunities to the local homeless and home-at-risk community.
“We want to be that stepping transition for them to take that next step towards getting a job,” Kelly Kelley said.
The homeless need something more than just spare change, they need compassion and inspiration to help get them back on their feet, and it seems RedTail is doing just that.
Kat Udarro, a highly-trained barista who has worked with the coffee shop since it opened, has enjoyed being able to offer that necessary hand to the homeless at RedTail.
“Everyone’s story is different, and I think that’s one of the huge things that this has taught me,” Udarro said. “All of my stereotypes that I had about homelessness have all kind of gone away.”
The Kelleys want RedTail to be a safe place for people to come, giving everyone a sense of belonging in a non-judgmental environment.
“You never know who is going to be behind the counter,” Kelly Kelley said, emphasizing the value and connections that the shop hopes to demonstrate.
The shops’ workers realize and accept that not everyone is going to support their mission, but they feel what they’re doing makes a positive impact, according to Kelly Kelley.
“People do believe in what we are doing, and that in itself is incredibly humbling and rewarding.”
Throughout the past year, Kelly Kelley said there have definitely been some ups and downs, but the support as been unbelievable.
“Every day is rewarding in itself,” Kelly said. “I learn so much every day from everyone.”
The warm and welcoming atmosphere at RedTail also has a “take it or leave it” box and a “lending library” where people can give what they want or are able to give, and the items donated will be there are available for those who need them.
Udarro expressed how much love the Kelleys have to give to their shop and the customers that come through on a daily basis.
“This is giving them a chance to get that ground to move forward, because when you don’t have that even ground and you’re always falling down, it’s impossible to move forward,” Udarro said. “So this is an opportunity for them to come in and learn some skills, and change their life.”
Their small coffee shop serves an incredible purpose, quality coffee and delectable pastries for people to enjoy on their commute through the MAX transit system.
According to its website, “when you buy a coffee or muffin from RedTail coffee, you are helping to provide job training, business skills and a career to the homeless in our community.”
RedTail is located at 4915 Fossil Blvd., in the Fort Collins South Transit Center.
Collegian A&E Writer Alex Lee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @aclee93.