Being greeted by a warm smile and a fresh cup of joe is not uncommon at Fairbanks Coffee. Manager Danny Roth is not shy to let customers know that they are accepted and appreciated for stopping in.
Behind that great smile is a great story.
In 2016, Danny thought he had experienced it all – everything from divorce, to drugs, to losing his job and almost all of his family. One particularly chilly night in the early months of the year, Danny found himself restless in a drainage ditch, once again his place to sleep for the night. He decided to pray. “I didn’t know why I was praying because I wasn’t really a believer. I just believed in a god. I didn’t want to actually serve him or give my life to him. I just wanted him to save me and me not do anything. But luckily for me, he did want that,” he explains.
Danny discovered Victory Mission, an organization dedicated to fulfilling immediate needs of individuals seeking help as well as providing programs to build everyday sustainability. Within a couple of weeks, Danny’s life began to transform. He became clean of drugs and alcohol and decided to pursue God, who was now so active in his life. “I accepted it as reality and as my only option,” he adds. He learned life skills through a program he eagerly joined and later became plugged into his church. “My life was changed dramatically, and Jesus Christ put me on a fast track to understand him and to love him,” he reflects.
Today, Danny is employed and happily married with children.
At Fairbanks Coffee, Danny wants to be a first-hand influence on those who stop in. He wants to create meaningful relationships with his customers. “I’m hoping to create a safe space for the community but also for individuals who need to learn a new job skill or if they’re feeling overwhelmed or feeling alone. I’ve been there, and I’ve made it through,” he says.
Fairbanks Coffee opened March 9 in Fairbanks Community Hub in the former Fairbanks Elementary School at 1126 N Broadway Ave. Business hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday.