Karen Morgan and Nick Llorens cut cookies at Columbia Senior Center in 2020
Look for open mic, music, and other events scheduled for 2022!
Supporting one another is what Love Coffee is all about and we would not exist without the help of many, many, Columbia partners.
Chuck Crews made the initial financial investment needed to launch the cafe. Love INC's (now Love Columbia), Jane Williams, Aaron Harris, and Rose Williams all invested hours laying the groundwork and sharing connections for the conception of Love Coffee. Sherri Hockett and Daxe Sykes of the Love Seat nurtured the initial operations with the help of our trainer Karen Morgan, then stepped aside to allow Love Coffee autonomy to find its place in the market. Ray Batt, David Moreton, Questec, Stickman Woodworks, and others remodeled the space on Business Loop and continued to provide support as operations unfolded.
Micah Baker lent his passion and determination to the conception and production of our bakery products along with the good folks at Columbia Senor Center and Missouri United Methodist Church who helped with kitchen space. Ray Batt continues to offer his years of production baking experience to our product line.
Dr. Rebecca Llorens' support was instrumental for our start up. Renee Carter of Boone County Family Resources, John Scalise and Steve Smith of Job Point, Jessica Mahon of ACT, Mark Palmer of Woodhaven, Angela Percival of Welcome Home, Sarah Froese of Veteran's Administration, and Terry Walden founder of EnCircle Technologies, all played a big part in the forming concepts for Love Coffee.
Last but certainly not least, Glyn Laverick and his team at Tiger Hotel, Glenn's Cafe and with Jesse Walters and Camacho Coffee, believed in our mission and have gone "all out" to help make it a success!
We mention all this to emphasize the value in supporting one another on our way to higher effectiveness in mission and success in the marketplace. The founding principle of Love Coffee.
Love Coffee began in 2017 with the vision of Chuck Crews, a local businessman and philanthropist. During his years coaching Special Olympics, Chuck became aware of the difficulties athletes had finding employment. Thus began Love Coffee, a coffee shop aiming to “include individuals with disabilities in an engaging and welcoming work environment.” Chuck also founded Tigers on the Prowl to continue his passion of “including as many people as possible”.
Chuck put together a team of other people passionate about inclusion and partnered with a fellow non-profit Love INC (now Love Columbia). Jane Williams, Co-founder and Program Director echoed the need for non-profits like Love Coffee when she said, “people with disabilities have always had double-digit unemployment rates. Rinding a job is often their number one issue.” Along with Pat McMurry, co-founder and then Executive Director, they spend the next two years formulating a plan, connecting with community partners, and raising support.
Love Coffee opened in 2020, just two months before the COVID-19 outbreak. Despite the setbacks, Love Coffee’s mission proved to be very compelling to Columbians, and community support for the effort kept the cafe going.
On the Loop & In the District!
In 2021, Tiger Hotel owner Glyn Laverick embraced Love Coffee’s mission with a passion - and a generous offer to grant lease space on 8th street in the hotel. Love Coffee at the Tiger Hotel opened in November of 2021.
Love Coffee now created a welcoming environment for community engagement, delicious food and drink, and many opportunities for inclusion and meaningful employment. The cafe has a full coffee bar, serves artisan baked goods, and offers a breakfast and lunch menu. Everything is made from scratch and produced with the care of our amazing team of mission employees.