Our neighbors in Mingus have (2) new dining establishments, Sweet Loretta’s Coffee Bar and Beneventi’s Italian, that bring breakfast and lunch to a whole new level with meaning and a mission. Both are located in the same building, formerly the John Frank’s Grocery Store, now part of the Mingus Job Accelerator, in the heart of downtown Mingus.
The Mingus Job Accelerator is a vocational training facility that provides on-the-job training for adults with IDD (Intellectual Developmental Differences) or other learning or physical differences. The specialized training received at the Mingus Job Accelerator gives these individuals practical work experience and other marketable life skills in order to enter the “real world” workforce. This particular setting also provides a sense of historical roots and the repurposing and beautification of a building from Mingus’s colorful and unique past. Phase 2 of MJA will incorporate tiny houses and gardens onsite. Some of the students at MJA will be day students who commute to and from the facility daily for training, and others will live onsite anywhere from 1-6 weeks during training. Students will receive significant hands-on experience at the coffee bar, the Italian restaurant, future gardens and boutique, and the animal shelter.
MJA is the vision of Jan Underwood, whose family has owned the property for generations. Jan often visited her relatives in Mingus as a child.
In 1906 at the age of 16, Jan’s grandfather, Giuseppe “Joe” Beneventi, immigrated from northern Italy to America to work in the Thurber Coal Mines. He was one of many referred to as “the child miners of Thurber”. In 1918, he married Maggie Auda, the daughter of John Auda, who owned a grocery store in neighboring Mingus. They had a son, John, in 1919.
Maggie’s twin sister, Mary, married John Franks and in 1932, when John Auda passed away, they took over the grocery store and kept it opened for another 40 years before it closed in 1972, the same year John Franks passed away.
Mary and John’s daughter Amelia lived in the back of the store with her husband, John Biondini. They opened a liquor store next door in 1961, which currently serves as the headquarters of the Community Animal Rescue Effort [C.A.R.E.] Facility.
Sweet Loretta’s Coffee Bar is open Monday-Friday 7am-11am. They offer coffee, a variety of teas/juices, breakfast paninis, pastries, fruit, and donuts. And banana bread! Their patio is a peaceful space, perfect for reading or catch up time with friends, and is also pet friendly!
Beneventi’s Italian is open Monday-Friday 11am-2pm. Chef Hailee Moore prepares freshly made pastas, soups, salads, and desserts using fresh, local produce. Farm to table, old-world style! Dine-in [Beneventi’s adheres to social distancing guidelines], or takeout. Call or text your order to (817) 746-1972.
Loretta’s Coffee Bar and Beneventi’s Italian
209 Mingus Blvd.