We obtained our occupancy permit for the Opportunity Center in April. Here we are only 2 full months later and our product line is taking shape. We are producing the following items through the help of volunteers. We currently produce Coffee Bean Jewelry, Coffee Bag Totes and Messenger Bags, Coffee Bag Wall Art, and Deck Chairs in painted pine and Teak-oiled Mahogany. Here is a picture of the new mahogany chair.
We are also adding dealers for our items as the St. Louis Art Museum and the Missouri Botanical Gardens have both agreed to display our products. Starting in July we will begin employing two missionaries on a part time basis. Things are developing rapidly and we hope to start relocating people this summer and beginning the process of recruiting more missionaries by this fall.
Through a partnership with Connections to Success we now have the use of a ServeSafe certified commercial kitchen. This will allow us to develop food products for distribution in the local area. The samples are being prepared this weekend and we hope to have our first products ready for distribution in July. This addition will help us to develop opportunity in a broader context.
Our first business is in the incubation process as one of our missionaries is developing a business concept that we hope to help him launch this summer. The Opportunity Center does not intend to become a large employer but rather to be a catalyst for economic opportunity and training for job skills.