White’s Expands Vocational Programming for Students: Grand Opening 50 EAST Garden Center and Café

Wabash, IN (April 18, 2019)- White’s Residential and Family Services is pleased to announce the grand opening of 50 East Garden Center and Café May 3rd, 2019. The new retail garden center and café are great local business additions to the Wabash community. It also supports the need for expanding White’s vocational and educational program, Growing Teens For Life, for the students in their residential therapeutic programs.

The 50 East Garden Center and Café, along with the greenhouses and other on campus internship sites, make up a vast classroom of sorts where young men and women apply for jobs as baristas, retail associates, inventory associates, customer service agents, and horticultural aspirants. Not only do they earn work experience, but they can also apply for and earn nationally recognized certifications, giving them a distinct advantage when they return to their home communities.

“Wabash County is excited to have White’s launch this new retail business and expand their efforts to provide quality services to the children and families they serve. 50 East is an extension of White’s mission and showcases their commitment to providing positive real world experiences to not only their students, but to the greater Wabash County community.  50 East is a unique opportunity to bring people and cultures together for the betterment of all,” said Keith Gillenwater, President & CEO of Grow Wabash County.

For the last four years, White’s Greenhouse and Garden Center has served their customers with high quality products. Now, with the additional 3,000 square foot retail space, we are able to not only expand our products but now have the opportunity to partner with over 15 local businesses to sell their unique products as well.  The coffee shop and café will also provide an additional place for folks to meet for breakfast, lunch and coffee all year long!  50 East Garden Center and Café, is truly designed to give a one of kind shopping experience for customers, all while giving kids vocational and work experience.

White’s has a long history that started over 160 years ago by their founder Josiah White; as a Christ-centered agency that is dedicated to providing hope and transformation to children and families in crisis. Their mission of providing emotional healing, personal development, and spiritual growth has been the core visions of all that White’s does through their residential therapeutic programs and foster care services.

Ron Evans, president and CEO of White’s; “The 50 East Garden Center and Café, really is an extension of our founder’s will and his vision.  We are humbled and honored to be able to bring this service to the Wabash community and beyond! We have committed ourselves to growing our vocational programming so that our students have the skills they need for their future. By adding 50 East, we are now able to provide an additional 36 on-campus jobs for our students. We know that our students will leave our program and go back to their home community; by us providing them with therapy, spiritual life opportunities, life skills, education, and on the job work experience, White’s is giving them the support they need for long-term success.”

Jessi Kiefier, Café Manager, envisions the morning time with every seat occupied at the Cafe, conversations with students, business people working on their laptops, and donors dropping by to see all the good that’s being done. She sees this effort as an invitation to the community to offer support to kids who need a second chance. “All of us have needed a second chance at some point in our lives.”

The Café, open for breakfast and lunch, has seating both inside and outside. The outdoor patio overlooks the greenhouse and a neighboring wetlands area.

50 East Garden Center and Café opens May 3, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. After that, normal hours for the Café will be Monday to Friday 6 to 2, and Saturday 8 to 4. The Garden Center will run from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday and Saturday 8 to 4. Both will be closed on Sundays.

Please click here to download the press release.