Coffee with a side of creativity - FOX 13 News

Coffee with a side of creativity

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LAKE WALES (FOX 13) -

The imagination of a sixth grader turned a Lake Wales, FL eatery into a unique dining experience, and a creative place for kids to play.

Every time Keith Thompson and his family open the doors at Beans and Brushes Café, they have a very interesting story to tell.

"It's a great story," said Keith, who is the owner of Beans and Brushes. "We have a lot of fun telling it and guess they say the best stories are the true ones."

The business idea blossomed in the mind of their daughter Abigail when she was in the sixth grade. It eventually changed their life.

"We never thought in a million years that it would actually come to fruition," said Abigail, who is now 18 years old.

Homework can sour the day for any school kid, but not Abigail. Six years ago at Union Academy Middle School, she was inspired by a class project to create a business.

"I had the idea to do a cafe coffee shop with a painting place because I love to go and paint pottery with my mom and dad," Abigail recalled.

Abigail created a prize-winning diorama of a cafe with tables, chairs, and art supplies. She dreamed then it would turn into the real thing.

"We are now doing the adult work that it takes to bring the imagination of a child to life," Keith said.

Beans and Brushes is kind of a neat place too for Ann Gramlich's fifth grade class. See she's a wonderful opportunity for her students.

"They can paint and learn the arts. The creative arts which they can't do all the time at school," Ann said. "It gives them a chance to have fun."

An unusual combination has created a successful niche. An idea that first took shape in a shoe box.

"All this from a teacher taking the time to plan a lesson she hoped would be meaningful to her students. Not knowing how meaningful it would be to our family and Lake Wales," Keith said proudly as he tended to customers at Beans and Brushes.

A homework assignment can indeed build a dream. Beans and Brushes first opened in 2011.

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