Charitable coffee shop gives more than a caffeine buzz

Ben Lippert

Ben LippertJuice Editor

Mission Coffee House donates all their proceeds to a different charity in Brookings each month.

In Brookings, most coffee shops don’t go unnoticed, but inside the First Lutheran Church, known affectionately as “touchdown Jesus,” one coffee shop is barely a blip on the radar.

Mission Coffee House is a surprising find to many people. Amanda Jurrens, a senior biology major and barista at Mission Coffee, says the lack of advertising is a big reason that the coffee shop is so unheard of.

“We’re so obscurely located and we don’t advertise on campus enough at all,” Jurrens said. “A lot of people don’t know about us, unless they go to church here.”

On the surface it seems like a simple solution; spend some money and spread the word. This is difficult for Mission Coffee because they are a nonprofit business and all the money they accumulate goes to helping groups and organizations in Brookings.

“I like the mission aspect of it, we’re not just in it for the money,” Jurrens said. “We donate to charity whatever we don’t need for our basic needs, and it’s just a fun place to work.”

Mission Coffee’s business motto is written in the name. Giving to missions has been the goal of Mission Coffee since it was established nearly six years ago. Since then they have contributed to countless organizations.

Each month, Mission Coffee employees and First Lutheran church administration choose an organization to donate their proceeds to. Jurrens said that on average they raise two-thousand dollars for each organization in a month timespan.

“People can give us cash tips or if they put it (the bill) on their credit card we run it through and put it in the jar at the end of the day,” Jurrens said.

The employees are a combination of volunteers and student workers who get paid only due to work study loans that they have to qualify for. This means that Mission Coffee only faces the costs of operation which include buying products and paying utilities.

Jurrens said that Mission Coffee offers the same, if not more, options as other coffee shops in town and at competitive prices. Besides dozens of popular beverages, customers can also choose from cookies, muffins, scones, soups, chips, sandwiches, wraps, and pizza.

All the baked goods including lunch and dinner foods are prepared in the store. The only thing Mission Coffee outsources for are the beans used to brew coffee and espresso.

“The coffee beans are bought fair trade and equal exchange,” Jurrens said. “They don’t go through a bunch of companies before coming to us.”

As an added perk, Mission Coffee has a very welcoming atmosphere complete with leather upholstery, a fireplace, and free WiFi.

Jurrens said that usually the elderly and business professionals come in during the day, while college students come at night.

Mission Coffee used to be open until midnight during the week as a designated study area for college students. Due to the lack of business during the late shift, their business hours were cut. However, the shortening of business hours hasn’t put a damper on the donations from students, Brookings residents, and church-goers.

In February, Mission Coffee donated all their proceeds to an organization in Brookings called My Neighbor. This group is dedicated to helping families and individuals who are battling from a crisis and struggling to get back on their feet financially.

In the two years that Jurrens has worked at Mission Coffee, her favorite mission project was with the Brookings Backpack Project, an organization that helps young students get the supplies they need to succeed in school.

“We collected the money for Brookings Backpack project and they put them all together,” Jurrens said.

It’s notable donations like this that put Mission Coffee in a league of their own. They have brewed up the perfect recipe of giving, caring, and philanthropy that tastes sweet to anyone who gives or reaps the benefits.


Mission Coffee House

Located at Main Avenue & 8th St

(605) 697-2765

Open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

#1.2042963:2101320024.png:touchdownJesus-GALLAGHER.png:Inside First Lutheran Church is Mission Coffee House. The coffee shop is relatively unknown by most in the community.:Collegian Photo by Robby Gallagher#1.2042964:3826899299.png:touchdownJesus2-GALLAGHER.png::