After two years of planning, praying, and persevering, Jeff and Teena Stewart’s brainchild, Java Journey, is finally ready for its grand opening. The event is scheduled for January 22 and 23rd. The coffee shop is a product of many back-breaking hours put in by the Stewarts and countless volunteers. The Stewarts made a radical decision to leave traditional church ministry in California to pursue their dream of doing something out-of-the-box that would impact the lives of the people in their community in a positive way using Christian principles as its foundation.
Jeff says he’s objective when he calls it “the warmest coffee shop in town.” Java Journey’s tag line is ‘where coffee, caring, and community connect. From the moment you walk into the store, you know it’s different. “We want people to care about the environment, about people and about the community,” says Teena. The counter, built by volunteer labor and covered with recycled maps and electricians copper, reflects these core values.
The coffee shop will host a variety of activities. A portion of its proceeds go back into the community to help various charities and causes. The store even has an electronics recycling program.
The Stewart’s original plan was to use a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their California home (sold just before the housing market tanked) to open the store and secure a loan for the rest. But they ran into a snag because of the spiraling economy. Banks were no longer willing to lend to start ups. However, with a little creativity and a lot of faith, they skirted the roadblock and purchased used furniture and fixtures and accepted items as donations. They enlisted volunteers to work in a variety of capacities including counter help, and found much of the furniture and equipment at auctions, thrift stores, and yard sales.
Planned activities include recovery group options, life-equipping and spiritual formation classes, Sunday gatherings, wholesome secular and Christian music, video nights, and more. Sinai Vessel is slated to play the evening of Friday, January 22 from 7-9 pm during the grand opening. The event is free to the public.