The Coffee House: A gathering place

The Coffee House

The Coffee House

 

The fact that the event went so well should come as no surprise, since The Coffee House’s head honcho, Roy Clark, has a marketing background. But that’s not why he and his family got into the coffee shop business.

“We really felt the call, felt that God was calling us to come here,” Roy said, about his wife, Wendy and their three daughters, Haley, Heather, and Hannah.

Roy and his family had been visiting the Wood River Valley for a decade and were ready to move on from their home in the Bay Area. “The more we researched this area the more we liked it. We eventually got the bug and fell in love with the place, and wanted to invest in the community,” Roy said.

One piece of research in particular really caught their attention: the valley’s unusually high suicide rate. The Clark’s are a family of strong Christian faith and felt they could make a positive difference.

“We wanted to see if we could help with that,” Roy said, “try and give the young people, especially, some hope.”

While the Clarks have strong faith, The Coffee House is not religious-based.  They don’t serve lattes and breakfast burritos accompanied by Biblical verses.

Coffee House opening 1

The Clarks at the Ribbon Cutting for The Coffee House.

Instead, the secular coffee shop is working on the rather long process of securing its non-profit status so it can support a wide variety of local programs and people. “Our plans for the proceeds from sales relate to generously supporting the community in tangible, ‘boots on the grounds’ ways. We want to build relationships and invest in people,” Roy explained.

“We hope that people would want to gather here. That it would feel warm and welcoming and folks would want to hang out here,” Roy said, about the restaurants tagline of “A gathering place.” That’s also why The Coffee House is open evenings on Friday and Saturdays and some special occasions, to give local youth and other folks another safe and healthy option to gather and socialize at night.

“We feel like if we can offer a good product, good service, and be friendly that we will be successful,” Roy said.

By Mike McKenna

This story originally appeared in the Chamber Corner section of The Weekly Sun.

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