Macey Estrella, a Lady Island resident, reached a goal she had been working towards for two years on Monday, Aug. 21. Sunny Summers Café, located at 7 Robert Smalls Parkway in Beaufort, will have its grand opening at 11:30 a.m. A café appears to be a pleasant, vibrant, and welcoming location where you may have a coffee, dessert, or tasty snack.
But for Estrella, better known as former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star Lacey Evans, the cafe represents a chance to spend more time with her family and give back to the Beaufort community she adored. Estrella has been a WWE wrestler for seven years, and while she enjoys her career and is grateful for it, the continual travel makes it difficult for her to spend time with her family and be involved in the community.
“I think I can help a lot more outside of the WWE ring,” Estrella explained about her decision. “I want to focus on fighting addiction in my community and working to normalize mental health issues.”
Estrella’s father died of mental illness and drug and alcohol misuse while serving in the Marine Corps and shortly before auditioning for WWE.
She stated that she utilized her platform in WWE to normalize mental health issues and help children afflicted by addiction, and she now wants to do the same for the community. Estrella aims to open the cafe’s doors to community groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) once it formally opens on Monday, and she plans to provide them with free coffee and donuts in addition to a gathering spot.
She also aims to provide courses and programs for military women and spouses to help them find work and “pursue their goals and aspirations.” Most importantly, Estrella is relieved to be able to live with her family under one roof.
Sunny Summers Café was named after her two daughters, Summer and Sunny. The two girls, along with their Estrella husband Alfonso, transformed the cafe’s interior into a vibrant and calming space, complete with hidden visual treats like crayons for their toddler Sonny tag and little green military men hovering in glowing text above the cash register that says “Café.” As an example, she is a former Marine.
Estrella wanted to focus on mental health at the café as a veteran and victim of childhood trauma from severe depression, drug and alcohol misuse. She offered inspiring slogans, aroma therapy, color therapy, and comfort Seats. “I wanted to create a space where people could come in and disconnect not only from their devices, but also from their thoughts,” Estrella explained.
She stressed the word “unplug,” and added that if you switch off your phone and enter “cell phone jail,” you’ll receive a free donut to share with your family.