By Emma Stratton, Student Writer
Name: Aly Blank
Major: Business Administration
Hometown: Lancaster, PA
What do you plan to do with your Business Administration major?
I am passionate about business and ministry and combining the two. I have a minor in pre- counseling and therapy. I hope to combine my knowledge of business with something in women’s ministry.
Where did your passion for women’s ministry come from?
I did YWAM (Youth With A Mission Worldwide) right after high school and went to Papua New Guinea on outreach. While I was there, I became really passionate about helping women because it was a very male-dominant culture. A lot of women were desperate to have someone listen to them. It was very different from anything that I had ever experienced. It made me realize that similar problems existed in the United States, but we don’t hear about it as much over here.
What is your café company?
We are a mobile coffee cart—an expresso bar on wheels. We go out to events and hopefully different businesses in the future. The end goal is to hire women upon release in prison. We are hopefully going to work with Beth Shalom in Lancaster City. They provide these women housing, get them a job and work on life skills with them. We would partner with them to find employees who are trying to get back on their feet and are living in a Christian community already. We would be giving them employment and helping them get started again.
What is the name of your company?
Café Five 20
What is the significance behind it?
It is from the bible verse Romans 5:20, “But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” It stands for what we believe which is the fact that although a lot of other people are not willing to give these women a second chance, we want to. We have all made mistakes and deserve to live a good life and have all the same opportunities. We desire to set an example or lead in the community with that.
Do you have any other family members in business?
Yes, my brother and dad both own businesses.
Who has been the most encouraging during the startup of your café?
My dad, he understands the whole business side of things. He understands the stress that can come from owning and running a business, but he also loves what he does. A lot of people put you down and tell you that there are a lot of downsides that you don’t see when opening a business which is true. It is a lot harder than you think, but my dad encouraged me that if it is something that I want to do, it is totally worth it. Especially if you have a mission connected to it that you are passionate about, it is worth the time and energy you will put into it.
Why specifically a coffee bar?
I love coffee! I worked as a barista for 5 years and the human interaction that comes with it is one of my favorite things. You are making people’s days as they are coming into get their coffee, it is one of my favorite parts of my day.
What is your favorite coffee drink?
Iced Americano, but it is all good.