By: Jamie Bernal III
The Summit church recently opened “The Living Room,” a coffee shop inside the building, which is a good place to eat or hold meetings. This description is not much different than most coffee shops. The uniqueness is that the prices are negotiable.
The concept was developed around 2003 in Salt Lake City, and has picked up popularity since Panera Bread has opened four shops with this concept.
“We don’t just give away free food,” said Bryan McKnight, pastor of The Summit. “It’s eat what you want, pay what you can.”
All the items have suggested prices, and if a customer has the ability and wants to pay more, they can do that. However, if there is a person that cannot pay but needs a meal, then the church will make sure they are given food.
Currently, 10 percent of the profit and all of the tips go to the Lord’s Child, another 10 percent goes to the Community Kitchen and the rest of the profit goes to community improvement.
Volunteers who work in the kitchen make unique homemade products, like pumpkin pie lattes and other seasonal items.
“Our biggest gift is that we bring transformation to our community that is hungry for change,” McKnight said.
This café concept is the 17th location to sprout up in the nation, and three more are set to open by the end of the year.
The Living room is a fitting name for this establishment, because it has that feel to it. All of the furniture was donated. There are comfortable couches and cushy seats.
“It doesn’t look like a Panera Bread, but it’s a nice coffee shop and a good place for families,” said McKnight.
McKnight hopes to expand his operation so he can create a community dish every week. It would be a dish that is always free. Therefore, people who do not want to feel ashamed that they can not afford a meal can just ask for the community dish.
The café is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Everyone who works is a volunteer and more are needed.
If anyone is interested in volunteering, they can go to The Summit and pick up an application at the coffee shop.
Church Opens Charitable Coffee Shop
By: Jamie Bernal III