WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — TRU Colors Brewery is preparing for a summer launch, hoping to get their beers on shelves by July.
TRU Colors not only aims to produce a quality product but change the community we live in and eventually the country.
Chandler Hatch, Vice President of Marketing, says when people come to have a drink and tour TRU Colors, it won’t just be to see the brewhouse.
Once construction is complete, the location on Greenfield Street will house a gym, a studio to attract artists and podcasters to create positive content and a daycare that holds up to 65 children.
“Come enjoy this beer and let’s tell you about how we brought together rival gangs in Wilmington,” Hatch said. “How we were able to unite people and how we are actually able to make a difference and create an entire mission that’s going to change the world.”
A mission to challenge perception, end street violence and create a better community. The company hires active, rival gang members and teaches them to turn their street skills into business skills in an eight-week onboarding process called Disrupt-U.
“They learn everything from beer, business, branding, life skills,” Hatch said. “On top of that, we focus on the four core. Four core for us is housing, transportation, finances, and health and wellness.”
The goal is to create a solid foundation, sustainable skills, and to change lives for people like the Director of Operations, Press.
“For once, my gang affiliation is not being used against me in a court of law,” Press said. “Instead, it’s actually being used to help end gun violence across America.”
A mastermind behind the brews, Press works to create great tasting beer and a safer community using his influence.
“I didn’t have any opportunities, I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. I could only see what was in front of me,” he said. “Now that this has opened up opportunities and showed me like, hey, I can make the salary of someone who goes to college for four years. The only thing I have to do is stop somebody from shooting somebody, which is something that happens every day in the hood. I’m all with that.”
Not only an opportunity to make money and foster unity, but to learn new skills.
“In school I hated science but as you learn about brewing you get the chance to dig deeper into that and it actually made me love it,” Press said. “Good things, math skills. I mean, you’re good at counting stuff on the streets? You know about production. How many beers do we need to produce, how many businesses do we need to get beer out to? Just translating the skills I already had into a business has opened my horizons.”
The opportunity TRU Colors has provided for Press allows him to spread hope and promote confidence in the younger generation.
“Don’t let nobody define who you are,” he said. “Let your work and your actions speak for yourself.”
Through the TRU Colors onboarding program, Press went from living in a low-income neighborhood to being financially stable, owning a car, preparing to buy a home of his own, and is engaged to be married.
Hatch shared that they hope to expand the program in the future to help people get jobs in other places, not just at the brewery.
Additionally, they hope to have their product on shelves nationwide and inspire other business owners to continue efforts like theirs, offering to share the blueprint of how their business is successful.
TRU Colors has not yet announced a date to open their taproom, but if you would like to schedule a tour or have additional questions, you can find those details on their website.