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2018 year in review: Hope and Coffee opens in Tamaqua

This year, Tamaqua opened its newest coffee shop at 137 Pine St., called Hope & Coffee. There are quite a few notable traits about the coffee shop, one being that every employee, from cashier to barista, is someone whose had their life impacted by addiction.

The shop’s opening can be thanks to the Tamaqua Area Community Partnership, but Lisa Scheller, chairwoman of Silberline Manufacturing and a recovering alcoholic, was essential to its existence.

At the shop’s grand opening in July, Scheller recalled spending “35 years living with a coat of shame and anonymity; a coat my family asked me to wear; a coat I willingly put on myself out of a sense of guilt; a coat that society put on me with the stigma that says addicts are bad people.”

One of the goals of Hope & Coffee is dismantling that stigma.

“Hope & Coffee will not solve the issues our community faces with addiction,” Micah Gursky, community partnership executive director said at Hope & Coffee’s opening. “This is about recovery, the other side of addiction. This doesn’t prevent addiction, but changes the conversation about addiction. Supporting recovery is not complicated. It’s very easy. Just come and drink some coffee and be part of the community.”

Customers chat at the Hope and Coffee shop during the grand opening Thursday. In addition to offering brew and pastries, the goal is to support and normalize recovery for addicts from all walks of life. The stairway on the left leads to the second floor, where you will find meeting rooms for recovery help, spiritual gatherings, business or any community focused group. KATHY KUNKEL/TIMES NEWS