Kicking around the idea....Christian coffeehouse

Christian Coffee House- Edifying or Ministering?

I'm always a little disappointed to see other Christians setting up or looking to set up Christian-oriented coffee houses for one good reason; they more oft than not turn away the non-believers and become more or less, a branch off of the church atmosphere. I speak from 2 separate experiences as a coffee house owner. Our first coffee house in Texas was bought from Christians who advertised themselves as a Christian coffee house. Not a Christian coffee house open to all walks of life, but a coffee house for Christians to meet and edify. This was not only a terrible business move (alot of non-Christians felt unwelcomed and overwhelmed by the Christian concerts, the literature and blatant pro-Christian artwork concerning Hell and it's members) but it didn't serve a purpose in it's community. Christians still didn't like it because the drinks were unbelievably terrible and the owners refused advice from those of us who knew espresso. We tried to help them, and once the business went down, we bought it. For 6 mths we tried to wipe out the stigma of being a Christian coffee house, and eventually people learned that we were Christians who simply owned a coffee house that served the best espresso in east Texas, and allowed open-mic nights for all. Some never returned so we never had a chance to change their minds. We did have alot of Christian concerts, but we made it clear what was playing - we didn't try to smokescreen it and trick non-believers into coming in, and this resulted in alot of interesting experiences that were positive and beneficial.
After seeing the community stigmatize the local teens as being trashy, good-for-nothings out to destroy the town, our calling became clear, and we moved the House to an upstairs location and focused on the kids instead of the old people (the worst customers simply because they can be so unbelievably judgmental, negative and mean-spirited) the youth loved it, it was a complete bohemian, wild atmosphere of craziness, and all types of music was allowed with prior approval. This was the fulfilling part. We had youth who were into witchcraft, youth who were bisexual, kids who were falling apart at home within tragic family environments, and the Loft became their home away from home. Kids who were into punk and goth and other "wild" and "unacceptable" paths, actually felt welcomed there, and cried when we finally closed. FIVE of them accepted Christ because of the Coffee House. We didn't shove Jesus down their throats - we loved them, and they learned through this simplest manifestation of the Real Jesus, what He was about. Yet, in that town and soooo many others, many of the older Christians find the simplest of His commands to be unattainable in their own lives. They have no idea how easy it can be to show the love-starved and the lost, who He really is, without judging, condemning, or building walls around themselves and their fellow believers and calling it a Christian business.
I completely and thoroughly urge the Christians here to really think about what they're doing before opening a "Christian" coffee house. Will it really be edifying, when that can and SHOULD be found in church? Or will it be an offensive heartsore to those looking upon it as just another way for Christians to band together and shut the world out? Wouldn't you rather open yourself up to a wealth of experiences that not only edify but minister and change lives????

No offense here at all intended, but if you are offended, perhaps you need to pray....

In Him!!!
here's another web link to a christian coffeehouse!

I just wanted to give another web link to an awesome site and coffee/ice cream/concert venue/worship place in bakersfield it is at : Good Luck!!!! - :) mar2rch
More power to you EspressoUnderground.

As one of those non-believers (I'm actually a believer just not of the Judeo-Christian kind) it is refreshing to bump into Christians who don't seems to have a passionate interest in burning people at the stake who don't agree with them.

From what I recall, Jesus hung out with the poor and the lepers, not just the faithful. Is that not the essence of compassion? Pedagogical tangent - compassion means "with suffering." com is Latin for "with" and passion is from passus, which is the past participle of "pat" which is Latin for "to suffer." If you get down and suffer with people, that's compassion. That is what it is about. Righteousness is when you look down on people and become insufferable.

So yeah, if I were in your town I'd come into your coffee bar for a double shot of espresso, straight up. I'd probably enjoy talking with you, too. And that's what a good coffee bar is about, Christian or otherwise.! Very wise advice. We plan on opening a coffee house next fall, and we really want people to be blessed when they are there. I was just thinking about combining the coffee house with a Christian book store. I really need to pray more about that, and consider what you've said. Just wanted to say thanks!
I helped a couple of churches open a coffee bar in their church. I have also seen people who wanted to open a Christian coffee house. I will say that I am opinionated on the subject. It started years ago when I opened my own coffee bar. One person who found out said to me, "Ohh, cool. You're opening a Christian coffee house" to which I replied, "NO, I am a christian opening a coffeehouse".

The difference is focus. There is a place for both. But, it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Me, I was opening my own coffeehouse to get in business and make a living. Others do it for the purpose of outreach, etc.

All I can relate is what we have done here. We are christians who opened a business and live our beliefs through that. We view our all our relationships as an opportunity to LIVE what we believe. If the opportunity is right we will also speak what we believe, but it is personal and one on one. Possibly to a delivery guy or a customer or an employee. But, that is no different than the rest of my life. My business is an extension of who I am.

Christian coffeehouses can be great, but are frought with unique difficulties. To anyone who undertakes and does it well, congrats!

One last thought. When undertaking a business, don't just pray about it, prepare for excellence. If God wants you to do something, he will give you advanced notice, make you able, and expect you to do your homework!! ("if any man builds a tower...")
Lots of questions...

I have loads of questions. This discusion has been great! My husband and I are desiring to start as many coffee shops... not here in the US though. In a country that is growing economically right now. We are both musicians and love coffee, BUT we are not buissness majors. He has a degree in Mechanical engineering and I, in Science Teaching. Our desire is not to make big bucks for ourselves though. We want to give the people something unique and provide as many jobs as possible. We want to help the people as much as possible, especially by helping them keep a job and life lessons and through that show them Jesus.
Our first question to all of you is... where is the best place to start? Is college required? Are there some good books that you would recommend? We have a tenative plan to prepare ourselves and learn this whole year and then next year go for it. We are living in Minneapolis, Minnesota now, but would like to travel around and learn from others.
Any ideas would be appreciated!
Our email is: [email protected]
Re: Lots of questions...

abures said:
Our desire is not to make big bucks for ourselves though. We want to give the people something unique and provide as many jobs as possible. We want to help the people as much as possible, especially by helping them keep a job and life lessons and through that show them Jesus.

Here are a couple of thoughts:
1. You say that you "do not want to make big bucks for yourselves". That is noble, but a little naive. First, you must make money, unless you already have a lot of money. You will have rent, employees, vendors, taxes, fees, utilities, repairs, equipment, etc., etc. On top of that you need to make enough money to pay your personal expenses. I don't know of too many coffee shop owners that make a million dollars a year (also, "big bucks" is a relative term).
2. If you want to provide jobs and teach life lessons you will want to show them life lessons they will use. Which means either being an employee or an employer: they will end up being one or the other. Now there may be those who work for you who go into full time ministry, but that is the exception more than the rule. Either way, the lessons you say that you want to teach take being successful in business to some degree (unless you want them to learn what happens when a business fails - which is a lesson also).
3. If you are successful in business by operating with integrity, compassion, and excellence and at the same time show them Christ then you win and they win, whether or not you do 50,000 a year in sales or 5,000,000 a year in sales: whether you make 10,000 yourself or 100,000 yourself.

If your heart is truly in serving God then money will not make a difference; it will only show more clearly who you already are. "Faithful in little will be made ruler over much".
I hope this helps!
Vision of Christian Coffeehouse


I ended up on this website here after doing a google search for Christian Coffeehouses, and I am very interested in sharing any info that I may be able to and would love to hear any thoughts. My wife and I are looking to open a coffeehouse in North Carolina, around the Raleigh/Wake Forest area, this is a vision that God gave us about 2 years ago, and we ended up moving to AK to be a part of a mission here. I researched this in fairly great detail and was able to speak with at least one manager of a Vineyard coffeehouse. My wife and I are hoping to look towards moving back to NC in the fall of this year. I hope to be researching this as much as possible in the coming months, and hopefully even setting up meetings with coffehouse owners across the country. I keep hearing that location is one of the major maker/ breaker factors.
I am looking forward to maximizing the use of this site.
[email protected]
I too am a Christan that opened a espresso/roasting buisness, you know it's about withnessing and live your life as a witness,and thithing. Belive all the other: " You do need to make money) or at least if you gave all to the chruch, the workers need to be paid....This buisness in never as easy as it seems from the outside.

In peace, CIAO
I see your post was from years ago, but I hope you're still around. We have been a Christian Coffeehouse since 2004 and are nonprofit. If you're still there, please let us know and we can share info. When we started gathering info back in 2003 I remember one of the first articles I read on the net. It said "if you're thinking about starting a Christian Coffeehouse and make money, you can stop searching for info right now and just go get a job. You will not make money at this!"
We have visited many coffeehouses, Christian or not and have gathered a lot of useful info along the way. I agree with the idea of not shoving Christianity down their throat. We attempt to be a great coffeehouse serving great quality products 1st, being friendly and providing a comfortable atmosphere where people can feel at home. When you go to any other coffeeshop people don't get in your face, why should that be the impression people get when the enter a Christian coffeehouse. What's the deal!
We're in our own building we rent. We're not associated with any church. We're 100% funded by individual donations. Our prices we charge at the coffeehouse pretty much reimburse us for the ingredients we use to make the drinks we serve at the coffeehouse, hence, nonprofit.
I'd love to hear some responses.
It's almost pointless to reply to posts that are older than a year. In fact, it's sometimes perceived as "trolling". <----- British placement of closing quotation mark I know, sorry it's a habit. It is the logical place for it.

None of the members in this thread have been around for over a year (except Alun_Evans). But a new member to this forum wouldn't know that.

Personally, I don't mind bringing up old topics, it's just better to start your own new topic.

Welcome to
Hello "ChristianEdge"

It looks like this topic has been re-opened. It was asleep for a long time! Not to happens all the time.

It would be great if the moderators or forum administrators could find an easy way to sort through all of the old threads and lock them as "for reference only."
Hey Cafe Biscotto.....did you notice the punctuation at the end of that sentence?

I responded to your posting in the Introductions thread a few minutes ago, before I saw this one. I was wondering what type of prices you charge for your coffee drinks, especially since you run a non-profit coffee house, and you serve a low-income community.

Welcome to the Coffee Forum ChristianEdge!