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Nonprofit donut and coffee truck opens

On Saturday morning, a line of eager donut lovers placed their orders at Harvest Coffee and Bakery, the new food truck that has attracted crowds to its Greenville Street home base.

Even as they helped the steady stream of customers, the Harvest team greeted customers with a smile and a friendly word. But the truck is working to do more than connect people with donuts. The nonprofit donut and coffee truck aims to make another kind of difference.

“One, we saw a need for coffee and donuts in downtown, and two — more importantly — we wanted to support churches,” said Rob Taylor, the owner of Harvest Coffee and Bakery. “Basically, we bring a bunch of churches together in town. We call it the Body of Christ of LaGrange.”

Taylor said funds from Harvest support mission work and outreach efforts based out of local churches.

“What we are trying to do, to start with, is we are supporting churches doing local outreach in the community,” Taylor said. “There is a Mission LaGrange Outreach, where a whole bunch of churches do that [outreach] every year. We are supporting those local things.”

Additionally, Harvest hopes to increase awareness for ongoing mission work through its social media accounts.

“There are probably now eight, that we are aware of, missionary families that have come from LaGrange and gone out,” Taylor said. “So, we are trying to put a spotlight on those folks. They’ll be on our Instagram and Facebook and all the stuff like this to support them, but in addition to that, we are choosing two a year from those folks and doing special projects for them.”

Taylor said that one of the needs for one of the missionary families currently is a car, and Harvest hopes to help with that need. Harvest is able to help those causes through the support of its customers, like those who helped the coffee shop sell out within an hour of opening on its first day.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support of the community and are very grateful for everybody coming by,” Taylor said.

Taylor said that the team of employees and volunteers is working to refine the process, so that they can serve customers quicker, but the truck comes with some inherent challenges.

“Working with a coffee truck is not the same as working inside a store,” Taylor said. “You don’t have all the amenities. It is almost like the difference between camping and living in a house.”

Harvest has been working to establish a permanent home at 107 Main Street, but due to renovation delays, Taylor and his team decided to open the coffee shop first. The coffee truck will spend most of its time at 114 Greenville Street until the store front opens, according to Taylor. The coffee truck is expected to continue to attend special events even after the store opens.

Because the store front is not yet ready, Harvest has been making its donuts at a space provided by Lafayette Christian School, and Taylor thanked the school for its help. The coffee is roasted by a private roaster in Birmingham, and Taylor said the simple menu items were his favorites.

“I just love the glazed donut, honestly,” Taylor said. “I’m just a plain glazed guy. I also love the cold brew. That is my favorite thing.”

Taylor said the Harvest truck will be at the Dragon Boat Race on Saturday, and will also be at upcoming events at Sweetland Amphitheatre. To learn more about Harvest Coffee and Bakery or where to find the truck, visit them on Facebook or Instagram.