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New Coffee Central owner Tina Tatum (right) looks on as barista/manager Laurel Moreland makes a brew at the Getwell Road location in Southaven. Tina and husband Alan Tatum took on ownership of Coffee Central March 1 and will use the for-profit venture to also support and spotlight local nonprofit programs at the same time.

The name remained the same, but the Getwell Road coffee shop called Coffee Central this week took on new owners who plan a new look, some new offerings, but also a new commitment to support nonprofits that make DeSoto County a better place to live. 

Alan and Tina Tatum are the new owners for the 5627 Getwell Road place to start the day with a tasty cup of coffee, latte or tea. There's also plans to add light breakfast and lunch options to go with that delicious java.

The Tatums take over for Matt and Kelsey Parrish, who started Coffee Central in 2017.

What will make the new Coffee Central different from your typical coffee shop is that, while you are sipping your favorite coffee you will also be supporting local causes. 'Coffee with a Cause,' you might say.

"Every month, we will have a different nonprofit organization that's doing great work in DeSoto County," said Tina Tatum. "The way we will do that is with spotlights, where we communicate with our customers about the different nonprofits. We going to have live music once a month and through those events we're going to give the organizations an opportunity to share their vision, take donations, recruit help, and share what they're doing in the community."

Tatum, who is involved in Christian ministry and her work with the nonprofit that works against human trafficking known as R3 The Movement, said beyond coffee, she wants to promote community.

"We look at Coffee Central as another opportunity to bring the community together," Tatum explained. "With our work through prayer and advocacy through our nonprofit, we're always for the community. A good cup of coffee and a place to have community."

Her current work as an advocate for women in sex trafficking and her ministry will continue, but Coffee Central will now become the family business for herself, Alan, and their daughter. Current staffers will remain, but you'll quickly see the Tatums behind the counter, as well.

Tatum said the first year list of nonprofits has been selected and includes some names residents will be well aware of.

"Hunger2Hope, the backpack program that provides meals to students in DeSoto County schools over the weekend that are in need," Tatum said. "House of Grace and some other recognized names in the area. Mid-South Love Home will be another one of the organizations that we spotlight and we support and let the people know about the great work going on."

Another way Coffee Central will support community is in the products it serves.

"We'll start using Wildflower Honey Bee Company honey, out of Hernando," she explained. "We'll be their first retail location. We'll sell their product out front and use their product behind the counter because it has wellness properties."

Another product will help get women recently freed from prison back on their feet.

"The tea we serve is from an organization called My Cup of Tea," said Tatum. "They are a nonprofit social enterprise out of Orange Mound. They employ women out of prison and off the street to manufacture all of their goods. We'll be helping indirectly women get back on their feet, provide them sustainable business and income just by having a cup of tea."

The Tatums have spent the early part of the week making changes inside the location to bring a different feel to the place.

"We're going to bring an urban vibe or feel in and add some additional seating," said Tatum. "We're going to add some workstations where the current tables are with outlets and USB ports at every seating location, so that people can come in and have a business meeting."

She also expects Coffee Central to be where students from nearby DeSoto Central High School can come, hangout, get homework done and such, all while assuring parents it will be a safe place be come to.

When Coffee Central reopens Wednesday for a soft opening, there will be new hours, from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-through-Thursday, until 9 p.m. on Friday, and from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday.

A ribbon cutting and grand opening will take place Friday, March 8 at 10 a.m.

"Our goal is to be more than a coffee shop, but to be a community," Tatum said. "We want to be DeSoto County and Southaven's choice as a local coffee shop."

Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

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