If you purchase a cup of coffee from Bret Garrett in a few weeks, you’ll meet his oldest daughter, Ashley, behind the counter.
She’s tall, friendly and giggles whenever she talks about her days at Belleville East High School.
Her smile widens when she talks about her dad, who went from working at Taco Bell and Starbucks to owning his own coffee shop in downtown Belleville.
“This is an inspiration,” Ashley said, sitting with her legs crossed in the coffee shop. “If he can do it, I know I can.”
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The 26-year-old will work alongside her father in the coffee shop, at 119 E. Main St., which will donate a portion of its proceeds to mission work in Haiti.
Bret Garrett traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on a mission trip in 2010 after a devastating earthquake. He was working at Taco Bell when he left.
He came back inspired and wanted to find a way to help others, while also pursuing his dream of becoming a business owner. The father of three said he researched the coffee business and saved money for years before finding a place in Belleville to rent.
Remy Black Coffee is expected to open at the end of the month, although product is currently available online.
Customers will also be able to purchase crepes and desserts in the shop that will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Garrett is also leasing the building next door, the former home of Seafood by Crushed Velvet. The new business owner is looking for a chef to run that space.
But in the meantime, Garrett is focused on opening his coffee shop. He even worked at Starbucks for six months to learn more about the business of making coffee.
“You have to work with purpose,” Garrett said. “I know most people work for a check. My motivation was: ‘What am I going to do, since I’m here?’”
Garrett also worked for a car rental company to save money for his dream.
In the next few weeks, he’ll put the final touches on the coffee shop with an elegant vibe.
For more information about Remy Black Coffee, call 888-384-7803.