In Downtown Sanford, Palate Coffee Brewery is a volunteer coffee shop where all the profits go towards the elimination of human trafficking.

In Downtown Sanford, Palate Coffee Brewery is a volunteer coffee shop where all the profits go towards the elimination of human trafficking.

Michelle Arshad, Reporter

Downtown Sanford is filled with local shops and quirky flair. Amidst the bustle of the small city, tucked in the corner of second street, you’ll find Palate: a tiny coffee shop making a big difference.

Palate is a brewery staffed by volunteers, and their profits and tips are sent to the Love Missions initiative against human trafficking. Although it’s small, the coffee shop is generating buzz around multiple generations about its comforting atmosphere, inviting coffee, and world-wide impact.

Junior Zoe Reddecliff visited the coffee shop for the first time on a quiet Friday afternoon. Although she is not an avid consumer of coffee, she says that the quality of coffee in Palate and its free in-house refills separate it from large chains that dominate our lives.

“The coffee is actually quite good. It’s not overly sweetened or super bitter,” she said. “But more importantly, even if it is not direct, I know that just by buying this simple cup of coffee, I’m able to help people who are in danger. It instills hope in me.”

According to Love Missions, the initiative and fundraising hub against human trafficking, two children are sold every minute. This accumulates to over 850,000 in just 2018 alone. As an epidemic all over the world, it needs support and projects to fight against it. Palate is an example of such a project that has gained a lot of attention recently, making progress in the battle against human trafficking.

Tina Ally and her husband are the owners and creators of Palate brewery. Tina herself has a personal connection to the issue as a survivor of human trafficking. According to her son, the reason for opening Palate was to raise awareness on the issue. Combined with her memory and passion, Tina was able to create a successful and impactful impression on the fight against human trafficking.

Just as important as the creator herself, the volunteers play a significant role by physically running the shop and making the hot coffees. The volunteers, of course, receive no monetary value, as all funds are donated to the Love Missions Initiative. Rather than a check in the mail, the payment for these workers is the knowledge that they are going one step further towards ending a battle much larger than themselves.

Devon Ally, the son of Tina Ally and the shift manager at Palate, oversees the volunteers. He plays a vital role in running the business when his parents are not present at the cafe. Aside from that, his passion relies in his personal connection to human trafficking.

“My mom, Tina, is a survivor of human trafficking. I mostly come here to help my family out, but coffee is also my passion,” he expresses. “I actually quit my full time job to devote myself to the business. I’m [invested] in what this community is building.”

Faced with tragedy, the story of Palate is narrative with a meaningful ending. Tina, her family, and her volunteers are changing the lives of thousands of victims who have become ensnared by the crimes of human trafficking. When customers buy a cup of coffee from Palate, not only are they getting an affordable drink, they are becoming contributors to the story of Palate and its inspiring fight against human trafficking.