“We are sad to go, but we leave having been truly blessed by our time here and hopeful for how this decision will positively affect our trainees, baristas and staff, as well as our mission to extend welcome across Atlanta,” Murray said in a prepared statement.
Refuge began in 2015 in Clarkston with the mission of providing employment and job training to refugees settled in Georgia. In Clarkston, customers are served from a truck, with seating available nearby.
Throughout the pandemic, all Refuge barista trainees and employees remained on payroll, with funds from donors and partnering organizations, including Gene Kansas, the landlord for the Sweet Auburn building. Refuge will remain in the area as the coffee partner for Kansas’ workspace and events venue, Constellations.
In addition to its Clarkston location, Refuge also has a location at the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown, with plans to add a shop in downtown Norcross later this year. All employees at the Sweet Auburn shop have been offered positions at other Refuge locations.
At 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, the Clarkston Refuge Coffee will host what it calls “the most welcoming 5K in the world.” Find more information here: refugecoffeeco.com/events/refuge-coffee-run/.
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