New coffeehouse in church provides gourmet coffee, money for mission trips

Julie Frank

Julie Frank

There are not many places in Brookings that offer a fresh cup of gourmet international coffee to be sipped next to a warm cozy fire.

However, as of mid-September, one more has been added, and this coffeehouse has a mission.

Stationed in the new addition of First Lutheran Church, located on the corner of Main Avenue and Eighth Street, is Mission Coffeehouse: Coffee with a Conscience.

Mission Coffehouse isn’t the typical coffeehouse.

“It gives people an opportunity to do some good,” said Jenn Albert, a volunteer worker at the coffeehouse.

How can people “do some good” drinking coffee?

Count the ways.

The coffee served at this coffeehouse is in association with Equal Exchange, international traders who buy coffee, tea and chocolate directly from farmers in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

In addition, the proceeds generated from Mission Coffeehouse contribute to mission trips around the world and other international missions sponsored by First Lutheran.

Continuing the generosity, the tips earned during a month by volunteers are donated to local missions including Boys and Girls Club, Harvest Table, Domestic Abuse Shelter, families in need and more.

The Mission Coffeehouse, inspired by Pastor Scott Miller, opened the weekend of Sept. 9 and according to manager Carol Hardwood, of Mission Coffeehouse, is “beyond what people expected.”

First Lutheran Church covered the “start-up cost” enabling the coffeehouse to dig into its mission right away and “make a positive difference in life of others,” Hardwood said.

Besides helping people in need, Mission Coffeehouse provides a “gathering for all people.”

“It’s a nice alternative to going to the bar every night,” Hardwood said.

The coffeehouse provides a place to study or be with friends. It is complete with a fireplace, chairs and couches.

Soon, Hardwood hopes to supply entertainment to the coffeehouse, including musicians, poets and speakers.

Mission Coffeehouse serves a variety of drinks including smoothies, cappuccinos, lattes, steamers, mochas, brewed coffee and more.

For those who do not drink coffee, Mission Coffehouse also offers juice, soda, soup, bread, desserts and, coming soon, international chocolate.

Addicted coffee drinkers have the opportunity to purchase a $20 punch card and receive 24 $1 purchases.

Although no official hours have been set yet, volunteers serve from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays.

“As long as people are here, we’ll be open,” Hardwood said.

#1.884180:3793987717.jpg:MissionCoffee2.jpg:Lovers of the coffee bean relax in the new Mission Coffeehouse located on the north side of First Lutheran Church. The coffeehouse serves coffee bought directly from farmers. All proceeds go toward future mission trips.: