Tag Archives: non-profit

Seattle, Coffee, and the Interview

It has been a long time….sorry.  I didn’t intend to not write while I was in Seattle but I didn’t have a card reader and wanted to incorporate pictures into my posts. (Is that a good excuse for my laziness?).  Anyways, almost a month later and I finally have time to sit down and write a little.

So as most of you know I went to Seattle to get my feet wet and learn a little bit more about both the coffee industry and, more specifically, the non-profit cafe.  As far as the coffee aspect goes, my head is still buzzing from more than just the caffiene!  I learned more than I could have imagined.  The guys at Q were able to answer a lot of my questions and just give me more info on the coffee world in general.  I got a chance to talk to each one of them pretty in depth about different subjects -with Jake about the business end, with Matt about more of the supply end as he has a history in that area, and with Josh about latte art and the east coast scene.  Each one of them really helped to teach me how to make the drinks too.  It was kind of a process when it came to the drinks to!  Jake taught me the grind, tamp, and most of the stuff with the espresso.  I spent most of my time with Matt practicing steaming milk (whole, skim, soy, half & half, etc…).  Finally, Josh attempted to give me a crash course in latte art – which was not about to happen in only a couple weeks!

Latte Art - Josh did this, not me!

On the non-profit side of things, I have to give a special thanks to Jake and Eugene at Q Cafe and Summer at the Green Bean Coffeehouse for all their help.  They were really open about some really tough questions and because of that I am much more aware of the strengths and weaknesses of this type of business as I go forward.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting more on my trip.  I will probably split them into three posts:  one on Seattle itself, one on coffee, and one on Mt. Rainer.

Until then, enjoy this video that I was able to do with Eugene, the pastor of Quest Church in Seattle, while I was up there (yeah, I know, I look like a dork!).  Again, thanks to everyone at Q for allowing me to follow them around for a couple of weeks – especially Jake, Matt, and Josh!

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Going to Seattle!!!

Remember that post I wrote a couple weeks back titled “My Dream”?  Well its about time I get serious and start working on it!!!  So in addition to starting the business plan this summer I am also going to Seattle.  I have been in contact with Eugene Cho for a couple months now trying to work out a short term internship at a non-profit cafe that he runs in Seattle called Q Cafe.  Q is very similar to what I want to eventually create and so I am going to spend a

Q Cafe
Q Cafe

couple of weeks with his cafe manager and arts director to see how they run things.  Along with being a great place to build community, have great coffee, and listen to music, they also donate 10% of their profits to non-profit groups doing great things all over the world. 

The official time that I will be with the cafe is July 20 – August 3, but I am going to go a week early so I can explore Seattle and get a feel for the great coffee culture there.  So I say all of this to ask a favor of you…does anybody know anyone in Seattle that I could stay with from approximately July 13 – August 3?!?  Just a minor detail that still needs to be worked out!

So this summer is the beginning of a big journey for Amber and I.  We are looking forward to the adventure ahead and praying for God’s will in all of this (so please pray too!).  If you would like to receive a copy of the business plan, that will be ready by the end of the summer, please leave a comment and let me know (this will help me stay accountable too). 

Here’s to a great summer!!!

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My Dream

Can you believe that at the beginning of June Amber and I will have been in Florida for two years!  We left Arkansas in 2007 to come be a part of what God was doing at Crosspoint Church in Spring Hill, FL.  For the past two years Amber and I have served as interns (1 yr for Amber and 2 for me) and Amber has been an office assistant (for the past year).  My internship is over at the end of this month andwe decided that it was time to move on.  Not to leave Florida, but not to spend another year as an intern.  I won’t be dropping out of Crosspoint, but maybe fulfill another role that I will get to later.

Anyways, so what is next?  For those who may not know, Amber and I do not envision ourselves staying in Florida longer than another year.  We plan to stay until next June because I can teach and Amber can continue as a marketing director.  But after that…

 I have had an idea/dream that has kept growing over the past few years.  Three years ago I wrote the outline for a missions program for Crosspoint.  At the end I mentioned that I would like to start a coffeehouse to support missions.  Well, that last part has stuck with me and has always been in the back of my mind (or in the pit of my stomach) since we have been here and has morphed and changed along with me. 

So that is my dream – to open a non-profit coffeehouse!

Those who know my wife and I know we have always been passionate about missions.  I have also become much more globally aware of poverty, disease, and human injustice.  I am convinced that these issues are close to the heart of God and therefore should be close to my own heart.  There are so many great organizations and people out there bringing peace, love, and transformation to those in need and I want to be able to come along side them and support what they are doing.  I think that capitalism has the power to do this.  Therefore I want to start a business that will use its profits to make a difference in the world!  To support orphanages, clean water initiatives, microfinance organizations, and local foodbanks and shelters.

I want this business to be a coffeehouse for a lot of reasons!  First, I love to serve people.  I love to meet new people and hear their stories and make them feel welcome.  My dream is for this coffeehouse to become a third place (1st place is home, 2nd is work) where people come for friendship andconversation.  Second, I have fallen in love with coffee!  The bean itself has an incredible ability to transform communities.  Through fair trade (and other certifications which may be even better) coffee growers are slowly coming out of poverty, able to take their children out of the fields and put them back into classrooms.  I also love the drink itself.  There are so many layers and complexity to it.  Third, I love music and art, even though I suck at both!  I want to be able to support local artists by connecting them with customers and helping to spread their message.  Last, I do not feel called to a traditional ministry role, but I still feel God’s calling on my life.  I still desire to see God transform those I meet and want to connect them to His mission in the world.  In a coffeehouse I will be able to do this.  To make relationships and discuss God with people I form relationships with, what many refer to as incarnational ministry.

I have thought about this for a long time and have a whole lot more swimming in my head.  If you would like to know more then stay tuned because I will have plenty of posts to come on the coffeehouse.  You can also contact me and I would love to discuss it with you.  This summer I plan to apply for non-profit status and write the business plan, so please hold me accountable to that!

Finally, please keep Amber and I in your prayers.  When I sit and think about it I feel completely overwhelmed.  But I know I have to keep trusting God and continue to pursue this without abandon!

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You do it everyday anyway…

You use a search engine, right?  Then try this… searchkindly.org.  It is a search engine through Google (meaning that when you hit search your results are on a Google page) but it donates all advertisement revenue to charities!  Now it is probably less than a penny every time you visit but I remember reading on there that if they can generate 1,000,000 page views a day that translates to $12,000 a day!  The other great thing is that you can vote for which charity gets the money each month.  I know in the past Compassion and Blood Water Mission (a Christian development organization affiliated with Jars of Clay) have won.  This is just a really simple way to leverage technology for good, especially since it is something you do everyday anyway.  So just check it out and see what you think.

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