Service with Your Joe: Downtown Shop Brews it Up

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What makes your coffee house experience? Is it a hot latte with warm service? Relaxing atmosphere with comfortable furniture?

Well, it’s the non-profit prices and volunteer service that make a recent addition to the downtown coffee scene stand out.

Fact is, the Main Street Coffee House would not exist if it weren’t for donations.

Before the coffee house opened its doors to the public on New Year’s Eve, more than 180 gallons of paint were donated. The coffee house also received the tables and chairs, six couches, all coffee machinery, sound equipment, carpeting, plumbing, electricity and, most importantly, labor.

U students and others continue to make labor a major contribution. More than 10 people volunteer their time on a regular basis at the coffee house, at least eight volunteers attend the U. Most of them already have other jobs to juggle around as well, so the time they give working at the coffee house is their free time, or the time they spend studying.

Gina Erickson, a human development major at the U, volunteers about once a week at the coffee house.

“[The people who volunteer] choose to work there and have better attitudes than they would if they’re just working to get paid. They want to interact with people, they want to be friendly, and it creates a very positive atmosphere.”

The coffee house is nonprofit, which means it makes only what it needs to stay open. It also means the coffee is anywhere from a quarter to a couple bucks cheaper than other places.

According to Clint Roberts, one of the founders, the coffee house’s non-profit status keeps costs low for students who wish to study until late into the night.

“This establishment is not about making anyone rich, it’s a service to the people. The fact is that in most cities today, fast-food chain type places have overrun the old classic hang-out,” Roberts said.

The coffee house is also the home of a contemporary church on Sunday mornings aimed towards college students and young adults, called Summit Salt Lake. It is a branch of a local Baptist church. Seven of the 10 volunteers at the coffee house attend the weekly Summit services.

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