Refuel Cafe: More than just coffee

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Colin Cates
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
Every once and a while, a business can provide more than just a service to its customers. The Refuel Café at Holloman provides Airmen with a profound sense of community and togetherness that reaches beyond the items on its menu.

"The main mission of the Refuel Café is to provide the Airmen with a safe and fun environment to hang out," said Katie Ishmael, director of the Refuel Café.

The Refuel Café is sponsored by YMCA armed forces of El Paso, Texas.

"As a director I do not want the focus to be about the drinks which are provided but the direction of the café, now is for the Airman to feel comfortable enough to stay and hangout," said Ishmael.

"I love coffee and the Refuel Café takes me back home, I grew up in Ore. and all we do is hang out at coffee shops," said Airman 1st Class Garrick Youngberg, 49th Operations Support Squadron air traffic control apprentice.

The Refuel Café is open Fridays and Saturday from 6 to10 p.m. and Sunday 5 to 9 p.m.

"They can get a cup of coffee from anywhere; I want this to be a safe haven for them and make sure that the Airmen feel welcome," said Ishmael.

"I want this place to be about building the morale of the Airmen, and it all starts with the volunteers and me," said Ishmael. "If I take care of my volunteers then in turn they will take care of the Airmen in the café."

The café offers free wi-fi, cable, and, of course, coffee.

"We are trying to promote a place where people can enjoy playing games, watching movies or just having good conversation with others," said Ishmael.

The Refuel Café is a place opened and welcomed to all and is not controlled or lobbied by any form of religion or belief system.

"We are also working on providing healthier food options to help support the Airmen with their physical standards and hope to give the Airmen better choices then just cookies and sweets," said Ishmael.

To provide a place for the Airmen during the holidays, the café was open during Thanksgiving and will be open Christmas Eve along with Christmas morning.

"This is a great opportunity for the café to open its doors for Airmen who cannot go home for the holidays," said Ishmael.

"The Refuel Café is a great place to just decompress and enjoy some good company," said Senior Airman Conor McCahil, 49th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management personnel,

"I take the status of morale of the Airmen here at Holloman very seriously and want to do my part to help keep that as high as possible, and the Refuel Café is a great way to do that," said Ishmael.