June 29, 2016

Partly sunny

Cups Cafe brews a new start

The uncertainty is over for the nonprofit Cups Cafe.

The Christian cafe, which provides free coffee and meals to all, with focus on helping at-risk teens, will remain at 126 N. Court St.

The cafe faced a period of uncertainty in the summer when executive director Tim Van Arsdale lost a bid to buy the building at auction in June after the former owner faced foreclosure.

Brandon Berry, left, 19, of Medina, plays chess with Tim Van Arsdale, executive director of Cups Cafe in Medina. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY KIERA MANION-FISCHER)

“We are here to stay,” Van Arsdale said Thursday. “We are open for business.”

The new owners, Tony and Carmelina DiFiore, have agreed to either allow the nonprofit to buy the building or lease the space for five years.

The DiFiores, of Strongsville, purchased the building at the auction for $205,000 on June 26. At the time, they said didn’t know about the cafe’s work.

“They wanted to work it out and see us stay here,” Van Arsdale said.

Since the summer, the cafe has raised about $60,000 to buy or lease the building. For now, Van Arsdale is paying rent to the new owners, he said.

The money raised included $5,000 during the Medina County Fair, $500 from the Keller Williams golf outing, $5,000 from Harvest Presbyterian Church, more than $200 from a Garfield Elementary student who hosted a bake sale and $240 from a yard sale outside of Cups.

Van Arsdale said he thanks the community, churches, businesses and individuals who supported the cafe.

“Without your support, we wouldn’t be able to be here,” he said.

Cups serves between 50 and 60 people a day, and the cafe is run with the help of volunteers and donations.

To celebrate, Cups will host several events in the coming weeks.

The cafe will host a sixth anniversary and grand reopening party Nov. 24 to coincide with Medina’s Candlelight Walk weekend. The cafe already is decorated for Christmas.

The event will include cake, a bike raffle, prizes and giveaways.

The cafe’s annual free Thanksgiving dinner will be 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 27.

For more information, visit Cups’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cupscafe or call (330) 241-5990.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.