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A Higher Purpose

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Posted: Thursday, October 12, 2017 9:52 am

It was an idea that started back in June when the First Baptist Church of Crestline opened escrow, in the hope of purchasing the Lake Gregory Coffee House. Only four months later, the church closed escrow on Oct. 3.

Higher Grounds Coffee House, SPC Inc., (Social Purpose Corporation, Inc.), is the name officially given to the coffee house. Pastor Bill Mellinger commented that options for names were taken to church leadership in order to make a final choice. “We had a consultation with our advisory team and church board before the decision was made,” Mellinger added.

In terms of being an SPC, Mellinger said that the coffee house is not operating as a not-for-profit. “We are a social purpose corporation,” Mellinger stated. “This allows the church to own the property but the coffee house will be self-supporting and for profit.”

In August, Alicia Roquet, coffee house manager, along with her team, began searching for a quality roaster to join together with them. After many meetings and tastings with four different roasters, the church team decided that Arcade Coffee Roasters would be the specialty roaster for Higher Grounds Coffee House.

Based in Riverside, Arcade roasts all of its own coffee and has a tasting room that is now open to the public. Arcade Coffee Roasters has a true heart for reaching its community and is excited to help First Baptist reach its own citizenry and visiting guests.

Stevie Hasemeyer, head roaster and business owner, is passionate about mentoring other business owners and managers to not only have a successful business but an impact upon the people they will be serving. Hasemeyer and his team want to help the church give the city of Crestline and its visitors a place where they will stop and connect — to create genuine relationships with one other.

With a specialty roaster selected and escrow closed, the coffee house team is up and running and putting the finishing touches on details and menus. “Most of our menus have been finalized already,” Mellinger said. “But we still have to go through the health department assessments for those.”

In addition to those assessments, the coffee house corporation must be approved by the state, and other legal movements need to be completed before opening. Mellinger noted that the team hopes to do some construction renovations to the coffee house, but that will be later down the line.

Since the closure of escrow on the corner property and the coffee shop, Mellinger mentioned that the vision for the entire project is finally materializing. The team is now in the process of buying new equipment to operate when the coffee house opens and has been busy doing a lot of cleaning, as well, to ensure that it looks its best.

The First Baptist Church of Crestline hopes that Higher Grounds Coffee House will serve as a spot to bring the community together — a place where people stop for their morning coffee, and for their evening coffee, as well. It will be something that Crestline has not seen in a long while.

“Higher Grounds Coffee House is meant to build community...to build faith within the community,” Mellinger concluded.

Although there is no official opening date for Higher Grounds Coffee House, Mellinger said to watch out, because it’s coming soon!

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