Beckley, WV (WVNS)– Fruits of Labor Cafe opened on Neville Street in Beckley on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022.
“They’ve been asking us in Alderson, in Montgomery, in Rainelle, when are you opening? When are you opening?” said Brandon McCarter, operations director for Fruits of Labor. ” And we’re just so excited to be able to open today.”
Fruits of Labor offers hot sandwiches and salads, along with hamburgers, hot dogs, and homemade potato chips and pickles.
McCarter said the baked goods and desserts are made at the original Fruits of Labor in Rainelle, then packed and shipped fresh to Neville Street for Beckley customers. The café also has an award-winning non-profit department that trains talented chefs and waitstaff who are in recovering from substance abuse disorder.
Customers said they came for the food but support the mission.
“Perfect place to eat and dine and be treated very nicely inside of the restaurant, and their mission is just wonderful,” said one customer. “It suits everything I believe in, and to have them right here in Beckley, we’re going to make it happen for them.”
Fruits of Labor moved into the former Zen’s building, which the late Beckley businessman Dan Bickey renovated.
The city purchased the building and a lot for just over a million dollars with the plan of moving Fruits of Labor into the space.
Some Beckley business owners had opposed the move, pointing out the city did not have a viable lease agreement with Fruits of Labor and that other businesses in the city did not have the same advantage.
City treasurer Billie Trump said the intent of the business being on Neville Street is to give downtown professionals and others a place for lunch and to invigorate the downtown.
The presence of the business could also discourage loitering, which is an ongoing problem on Neville Street.
Jaleisa Coleman, who works at the Raleigh County Judicial Annex on nearby Main and Heber Streets, said she had walked over to the cafe to pick up lunch for herself and her colleagues.
“The atmosphere’s absolutely gorgeous,” said Coleman. “I mean, it’s beautiful here I can’t wait to come in and sit down and have lunch.”