We see ‘be kind’ scribbled all over social media, T-shirts and adverts, yet sometimes words don’t equal action.
One little café with a big mission is determined to be the change they want to see and are striving to put kindness at the heart of everything they do.
To do this, La La Land Kind Café are hiring foster youth as employees to give young people a chance to flourish and spread joy to the guests who walk through their doors every day.
By practicing that they preach, and giving disadvantaged kids a stepping-stone of opportunity, founder Francois Reihani hopes normalising kindness will have a ripple effect.
Francois initially set out to help foster youth after learning about what happens to them when they get kicked out the system at 18, with many left on the street.
His first project We Are One, created in 2017, aimed to provide the young people with everything they needed to become self-sustaining adults, from housing to mentoring to therapy.
However, it wasn’t working!
Francois soon learned his mentees struggled to get or maintain jobs, and without this, the whole house of cards would collapse.
He explained: “Employers were not willing to hire youth with no experience or did not have the patience to teach them.
“If no one was going to hire our youth, we set out to do it ourselves.”
And so, the kindness café concept was born offering an eight-week internship for foster youth, during which they learn life skills, on-the-job training, and customer service.
For most of us, La La Land is synonymous with Hollywood or perhaps the Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone film, but what about its link to kindness?
The name was chosen to represent a dream world, where people walk in and feel a true sense of joy for life and feel accepted for who they really are.
As if their ethos is not enough to be admired, the mouth-watering menu is heavenly.
Their drinks come in a range of quirky flavours, including The Butterfly Latte (blue butterfly pea flower, espresso, milk), while their food boasts dishes like Cacao Banana Chia Seed Pudding (cacao, honey, Nutella, chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut milk, banana).
While you’ll have to be a US resident to enjoy the perks – with three stores currently in Dallas – there are plans to open more on the mission to spread kindness like wildfire.
The team also hope that other businesses around the world will adopt a similar ideology by using social enterprise opportunity within their brand to help the local community.
For more info, click here: La La Land Kind Café.