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Buzzing downtown Stockton coffee shop The Well provides free vocational training

Buzzing downtown Stockton coffee shop provides free vocational training
Buzzing downtown Stockton coffee shop provides free vocational training 02:13

STOCKTON - There's a place in downtown Stockton buzzing with excitement. It's called The Well and it first opened its doors two years ago.

"So, this is the area seating for all of the people. Awesome baristas are here Monday through Friday," said Naiah Williams, the executive director at The Well. 

When visitors walk into the white building on the corner of West Rose and North Center Streets, they'll find a trendy coffee shop with comfy chairs and its own roasting machine.

But this hidden gem in downtown Stockton is many things wrapped in one.

"We wanted to be a one-stop shop where folks can come to and know there's something inside the well for everyone to reach in and benefit from," Williams said.

The grass-roots non-profit provides free hands-on vocational training in the culinary arts, coffee roastery, photography, graphic design and a lot more. Their goal is to mentor and train others to find financial success.

"So being here hands-on with individuals is just very uplifting and it's very fulfilling to, what my purpose is," said Nathaniel Aguirre, a videographer and content creator at The Well. 

Eros Ceballos is among a handful of students taking careful notes and learning about business and marketing.

"I've been doing real estate for years, but I never learned how to run it as a business, business and this is what this class is about. That's why I decided to take it," Ceballos said.

Fernando Gapasin is another fan of The Well.

"I've been coming to The Well for well over a year," Gapasin said.

While he sharpens his technical skills in the downstairs computer lab, his family is just a few steps away.

"It's nice that my wife and my daughters can be upstairs having coffee," he said. "I can be down here working on my business plan, developing another marketing strategy so yeah, it works out nicely."

The staff running The Well take pride in knowing they're making positive changes in their own community under one roof where everyone is welcomed.

"One of the catchphrases that we have here is that everyone is seen and deserves to be loved so we make sure from the moment you cross the threshold that you're seen, that you're greeted and that we're all smiling," Williams said.

The Well was created by Restore Stockton, a local non-profit that focuses on mentoring and vocational training.

For those interested in attending classes at The Well, there's already a waiting list. For more information, click here.

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