The University of Rhode Island’s student organization Strike a Chord held their second open mic night at TLC Coffee Roasters on Monday to help raise funds for their upcoming Battle of the Bands.
Strike a Chord is a philanthropic organization on campus that works to help local charities through music events such as concerts and Battle of the Bands shows. President Nick Bottai, who is also a founding member, has worked with TLC owner Dave Turchetta in order to organize two open mic events in the past few weeks.
“TLC is helping Strike a Chord raise money for the Battle,” Bottai explained, “which will ultimately end up benefitting Horses Bring Hope.” Horses Bring Hope is a group that aims to provide therapeutic services to many people using horses as therapy tools.
These open mic nights have both taken place after business hours on Mondays, which tend to be TLC’s slowest days for business. The store is open from 5-7 p.m., and Turchetta splits the profits made during this time in half with Strike a Chord. This is a practice he first encountered in another entrepreneurial business he was involved in, and has adopted it to work at TLC.
Turchetta explained how he was in upper management for a restaurant chain and they determined that their slowest nights were on Mondays.
“So they decided that they would average out the costs from recent Mondays, and anything that was made over that number during the fundraising hours was split with the group raising the money,” Turchetta said. “This was so successful; we would have people signed up to do it for weeks in advance. When I started here, I thought that the same kind of thing could be beneficial for a lot of people.”
Turchetta has been the owner of TLC for the past four months, and has been involved in many different businesses in the past, including many locally. For a few years, starting in 2000, he owned and operated the Ronzio’s Pizza restaurant in the Memorial Union.
Located just minutes from campus, at 3362 Kingstown Road in West Kingston, TLC is in such a location that it encounters a variety of different customers.
“I get a lot of different kinds of customers coming in here,” Turchetta explained. “A lot of them are locals and college students, but we also get people who coming through this way from 95 on their way to Newport, and other people travelling the other way.”
Turchetta makes it a point to connect to and meet his customers, especially those who are regular customers. This is how he came to know Bottai, and in turn, got involved with Strike a Chord.
Bottai is extremely excited about this upcoming event, and is very thankful for the opportunity that TLC has provided for them. Helping to generate funds for their upcoming Battle is something that not only serves to benefit Strike a Chord, but also TLC.
“We are so happy that he is so willing to have a student organization come down here and do this kind of thing,” Bottai said. “They’re not in it to make money; they’re in it to help the community around them that their business is a part of.”
Turchetta said that he is very interested in opening up TLC after hours again for other groups who may be looking to raise some money for charitable causes. He welcomes people to come in and talk about setting up events like open mic nights to benefit good causes.
TLC Coffee Roasters offers fresh roasted coffee beans daily, as well as many confections and other foods. For more information on them, you can find their page on Facebook. Be sure to be on the lookout for the Strike a Chord Battle of the Bands on April 1 in Edwards Auditorium.