A place bursting with autumn atmosphere, Second Wave Coffee and Books in Lexington, South Carolina, is located on about five acres of property and is described as a "very warm environment" by frequent Second Wave customer Jazzmyn Jay.
Second Wave's cafe is decorated in subtle fall colors and cozy lights and serves an assortment of festive coffees and foods co-manager Shavette Green said are a “very hot commodity.”
Visitors can enjoy these or a selection from the store’s “beer garden,” which offers seasonal beers and other alcoholic drinks, inside or at an outdoor seating area. According to an Instagram post, the facility is also dog-friendly "inside and out" and offers pupaccinos from the cafe.
"I think it's a really cool atmosphere," customer Mandy Green said. "The employees are always super nice. They always know a lot about the menu and can recommend stuff to you."
The store is a nonprofit and has an active partnership with The Arc of Midlands. The Arc implements programs to help people with special needs find employment, housing and support and encourages involvement from the community.
"I know the wonderful work that they're doing and that they're employing people," Jay said. "I like to support it."
According to Green, 25% of Second Wave’s employees have intellectual and developmental disorders (I/DD). Green had never worked with people with I/DDs until she began her career at Second Wave but said she loves being a part of the organization.
“Everybody is different, but you learn everybody’s personality,” Green said. “They get to know you, and then once you know them, it's like, you got a friend for life.”
The wooded area behind the cafe provides visitors with visions of fall in a colorful array of changing leaves, string lights, hay bales and the atmosphere-appropriate pumpkin patch.
Admission to the pumpkin patch is free, and each pumpkin is individually priced and marked with a sticker, according to a Facebook post.
Visitors may decorate their pumpkin with paint, stickers and other craft items at the outdoor art station for an additional $2.50.
"This is the first time I've noticed that they're doing a seasonal thing. We literally saw it and were like, 'Oh my god, so cool,' and got really excited and came down here. I think it's awesome what they do in the community," Jay said.
According to employee Irene Stevens, "It's family-oriented here." She said everything Second Wave does is for the community.
Visitors to Second Wave can expect more than coffee and seasonal activities. The area around the patch includes a life-sized chess set and other games, a small creek and a large overhang for outdoor events. According to Stevens, the store has hosted birthday parties, live performances, a wedding and other events such as movie nights and musical bingo.
Customers of Second Wave can contribute to the cause by donating to the Arc of Midlands when they check out at the store.