WORDS // Tricia Morgan
The rising trend in American foodie culture isn’t food at all. Instead, beverage-producing hangout spots are all the rage. In every big city, as well as in many up-and-coming smaller communities, breweries, wineries, and coffee shops are popping up in many shapes and sizes. Local meet-up and co-working space hot spots like Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company, The Haverstick and The Well are capitalizing on this cultural craze, not as profit-making businesses, but as social ventures and nonprofits.
Multiply Magazine met up with these three Indianapolis-area socially impact-minded coffeehouses with roots in the local church. These businesses are committed to loving their neighbors well through providing space for connection, delivering quality, ethically sourced products, and intentionally investing in their communities.
Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company
Tagline: Coffee is cool. People are cooler.
Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company (CFCC) will celebrate ten years of business this year. But for owners Doug Litsey and his son Jeff, neither had much interest in coffee when they first started. Rather, it began out of Doug’s desire to create a space that was hospitable to all people. Having been a pastor prior to opening CFCC, Doug believed that creating a welcoming space for their neighbors was more important than the coffee his staff served. Their concept resonated with locals. CFCC has become a staple in their Fletcher Place neighborhood with its laid back, inviting atmosphere that appeals to friends meeting up, professionals working and families wanting to refuel.
Over time, Jeff’s knowledge about coffee and entrepreneurship has grown, but so has his belief in community investment. CFCC allocates its tips every month to support other local nonprofits. More recently, CFCC has created a separate charitable foundation to have maximum impact in their community, allowing CFCC to pursue fundraising and matching grants to support local nonprofits. Jeff’s mom, Judy, is the president of the foundation.
CFCC has experienced success while sticking to their values. They are located in a neighborhood that has seen much growth over the last decade. Jeff acknowledges the temptation and pressure to cater to that growth, but in spite of it, they have remained a neighborhood coffeehouse with a top-notch product and service that is committed to caring for their staff and neighbors. People go to Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company for their delectable coffee and tea creations, and they come back for the care and love they receive by staff and neighbors.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CFCC
Tagline: Our space. Your place.
The Haverstick is a flexible co-working coffee shop without the fee that many co-working spaces charge. It opened in 2017 on the campus of Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis. The Haverstick is a nonprofit organization that falls under the umbrella of the church. This standalone building with an open concept workspace was born out of the desire for the church to be a good neighbor without any strings attached. They saw a need for a meeting space in their neighborhood that was a good alternative to smaller, crowded coffee shops. The church realized that God had provided them with the resources to gather people around tables, comfy sofas and chair nooks throughout the week while offering a full-service coffee menu. The space is transformed back into the youth ministry center on the weekends.
The Haverstick tagline, Our space. Your place. speaks to the notion that some people may not be comfortable working or meeting on a church campus. Director of Missions and Outreach Ministry, Shelly Clasen, explains that this is the elephant in the room and that the Haverstick is committed to building a bridge to welcome their neighbors—to create a hospitable place for all to come relax or work. The coziness of The Haverstick makes for an ideal place to meet a friend, dig into work, or get lost in a good book. From ordering a Chai latte, a common favorite, and sinking into a velvety armchair, one can soak in the richness of building community that abounds at The Haverstick.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE HAVERSTICK
Tagline: Where coffee changes lives.
The Well has become a favorite coffeehouse among Fishers, Indiana, locals since opening its doors in 2016. In addition to its inviting, modern rustic atmosphere and savory beverages, The Well’s appeal comes from knowing proceeds from every cup of coffee sold goes toward building wells that provide fresh water to people around the world. Customers are drawn to the cause they are invited into to help provide clean water, and they are drawn to a welcoming space that includes connection and community.
The original Well was started in 2012 by a group of friends from Otter Creek Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and five additional locations have opened since that time. Through a licensing agreement, Indiana-native board members of The Well, Debbie and Tony Zancanaros, brought the franchise to Indiana.
Profits from The Well Fishers support clean water initiatives in several African countries and more recently, here in the United States. They have partnered with Dig Deep, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing clean water to the Navajo Nation in the American southwest. The Well’s mission of creating sustainable solutions to poverty while serving superior coffee demonstrates that a business can create social impact by loving both their literal neighbor who lives across the street and their neighbor who lives across the world.
PHOTOS // JENNA KRUSE
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According to Forbes Magazine, social enterprises are on the rise and Multiply Magazine is finding ministries at the forefront of this trend. Innovative churches are getting behind leading pioneers who are taking the charge in a business model paradigm shift—where positive impact on society ranks higher on the priority list than does the basic bottom line. And we’ll cheers to that.
You can learn more about each respective coffee shop by going to their websites at: