Start:ME Spotlight:

Lulu

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Entrepreneur

Oluwatominsin Falegan

Community

Clarkston

What the business does

Casual brunch caf� in Clarkston which providing opportunitites to empower the community's youth

What's motivated you to launch a caf� in Clarkston?

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"The cafe I had long dreamed about, is an opportunity to grow leaders out of students."

I've always loved brunch---eating it, serving it, and experimenting with recipes. It's been a dream for a couple years to have a brick and mortar cafe where people feel at home and enjoy good food. I also love my students at City Hope and am committed to seeing them grow and thrive. Regardless of their varied backgrounds, I've seen how they all flourish when they are called to serve their community. I realized the cafe I had long dreamed about, is an opportunity to grow leaders out of students that many in their community have given up on by given them key roles at the cafe.

The cultural of this cafe is very important to you. Can you explain a little more about the culture you want to emulate?

"All parties are adding value to what's already great about Clarkston---we get to take care of each other."

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My personal life mission is to "see intrinsic value realized". I think cultivating a culture where people are served and cared for really well---whether they are a customer or a worker---fulfills an aspect of that mission. Great service and carefully crafted foods can make patrons feel valued. Earning a stipend while receiving education and social support can make workers feel valued.�Whether through finances, service or patronage, all parties are adding value to what's already great about Clarkston---we get to take care of each other.

Your day job is with City Hope, an organization which supports youth development in Clarkston. Can you explain a little about that position and how it has influenced your business?

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"I've had the honor of being able to get to hear the stories, meet and interact with the families and advocate on behalf of many of these youth."

As the Youth Program Coordinator at City Hope Community, I help coordinate the day to day operations and events for the programs that involve our youth (8th grade - young adult) and our After School Program students (2nd grade - 12th grade). Outside of these, the specific duties of my position can vary depending on the needs of our students and their families. Long before I joined the staff team, City Hope had already been doing some incredible work with the youth in Clarkston that have been tagged as "trouble-makers". Through my position, I've had the honor of being able to get to hear the stories, meet and interact with the families and advocate on behalf of many of these youth. While I've heard many sources call these youth, "our kids", "a menace", "hopeless", etc-- and I do understand their concern-- I've also seen how kind, generous, diligent and responsible they can be when given the opportunity to serve. I could go on and on with examples about how I've seen this in action---but the point is that in her final stage Lulu would function as another opportunity for these types of youth to serve with the added buffer of financial, education, and social support.

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