Ken Julian I know had a cafe at a church, however, I am not sure if he still operates that location. He is both a roaster and shop owner (Eagle Creek Coffee Co) .... his website is http://www.juliancoffee.com
We had a place in Memphis that was a church ministry that opened up a full time coffee shop but it wasnt in the church. It was just run by the youth volunteers & paid for by the church as a missions group. Stayed open for a while but has since closed. The guy that started kept the company & now roasts & sell coffes throughout other churchs & shops but he doesnt have a place anymore. My old church wanted to do this but they waited until they built out the new building to talk to me about it so they didnt build it how they needed it to be full time. I still helped them open up a coffee shop (small time) that was opened during Sunday, Wednesday & Friday night services but that was it. Nothing open out of church hours. But they originally wanted to that, they just didnt plan for it well enough! I've always wanted to do it & its still something I'll probably do in the future. Our original coffee shop was in our Christian bookstore so it was a full coffee shop & christian bookstore. Had that for about 13 years.
Thanks for all your replies. Our church already has a pretty decked out cafe ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/38818386@N03/4379034503/ ) which sees a LOT of business over the weekends, however we've talked for the last year about what it would look like to open it up full time. Our main concern is not if it would succeed but how it would affect our tax exempt status. I'm just trying to contact other churches to see how they've dealt with this issue before! Thanks again! ANy other leads would be great.
Great topic. I roast for several churches and groups locally. They serve during services and give fresh roasted bags to new comers. My best cafe customers are the local churches. I seem to have become a common denominator in our local small community. I visit all of them and have no permanent affiliation with any single church. Seems our shop has become a common ground for all.
All this has had me toying with the idea of my next location being named "The Church of Joe" =^).
Extra big smiley.
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
The first shop I ran was owned by a 501c3 nonprofit. We were a full-time specialty coffee bar and everything. They didn't seem to have any problems with it affecting tax-exempt status, but we did have some auditors check everything out at some point - they looked at everything from cash register to deposits and bank accounts. Lots of nonprofits have essentially profit-making business arms (like Habitat for Humanity's ReStores, Goodwill, or Salvation Army). If it's specifically the tax status questions that you have, your best bet is probably to talk with an accountant or lawyer.
South East Christian in Louisville Kentucky has one. I think it's called something like Cafe 920 I believe. Address is 920 Blankenbaker parkway. I know the guy who runs it, but I know nothing about their business. Might try talking to them. Their church has like 15,000 people per service, per sunday.
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