New Butler Co. coffee shop hiring, training former prison inmates

Hamilton coffee shop helping inmates transition to life outside prison

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A new coffee shop in Hamilton will hire former inmates who are trying to restart their lives.

Fringe Coffee House opens Thursday.

The business’s co-owners, wife-and-husband Sarah and Patrick Davis have served a combined decade behind bars, meaning they know how difficult it can be for those who were once incarcerated to find employment.

“We have both been to prison, and so we know first-hand, the first-hand experience, what that’s like,” Patrick said. “One of the main missing components is when people come home, nobody wants to hire them.”

Sarah and Patrick now work with inmates at Dayton and Lebanon correctional facilities.

“We do a 10-week music therapy program that’s designed to get to the root causes of incarceration,” Patrick said.

The Fringe hopes to move those it hires beyond their pasts with a one-year job training program and prison re-entry program.

“We say, ‘You’ve got to be tired of getting fired.’ And I think five minutes of conversation, you can get a pretty good read of somebody if they’re ready for that next step,” Patrick said.

The Fringe aims to bring in those others consider unhirable and undesirable. Sarah and Patrick have poured their life savings into it.

“Everything,” Patrick said. "There’s no logic to any of it. For us, it’s worth it because we believe that these people, they’re worth investing in.

“As I unlock that key, or my wife unlocks that key, I feel like we’re unlocking opportunities for families for generations. I believe that.”

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