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Coffee and Community at a Volunteer-Run Café

Creator:
Published:
January 16, 2024
June 22, 2019
The-Well-Coffee-House|The-Well-Coffee-House-Square

The Well is a coffee shop run entirely by volunteers. "It's so cool to see people meet each other and for relationships to start forming, and they start coming every week, and then they ask to volunteer," shares Patrick Quigley. He and his wife Mandi volunteer at The Well to build community.

Video Transcript

The Quigleys: South Bend, Indiana. The Well is a coffee shop run entirely by volunteers. Patrick and Mandi volunteer their time to help locals build community.

Patrick Quigley: I kind of met a group of people that were really serious about being radically generous and, like, radically open. And the goal was to give a space and a gift and just a place for people to be.

There's a whole lot of people that need a place to just kind of exist.

Mandi Quigley: You're there, you're making coffee, and they just want to talk, and just —

Patrick: It's like Cheers – everyone shows up to Cheers. Everyone knows their name and they can just spit it all out and put it all on the table.

The shop hosts music events for local artists regularly.

(Musician singing in the background)

Patrick: Since Mandi's the person behind the counter a lot of times, I'm the person at the shows, behind the soundboard. It's so cool to see people meet each other and for relationships to start forming, and they start coming every week, and then they ask to volunteer. It's been really cool to just watch the community relationships develop, just while we're there, kind of in the background.

The Quigleys even got married at The Well.

Patrick: Three years ago, we got married in this room. It was at the end of March, and it was particularly cold that March. Just like one minute before our ceremony, all the power went out. It got very dark. And soon after it got very dark, it started getting very cold because we opened up the doors to let the sunlight in. So we had a wedding with 150 people in here, and it was cold, and we didn't have electricity, and it was great. Everybody had a really great time.

Mandi: It was beautiful.

Profits are split 50/50 between supplies and local nonprofits.

Patrick: The financial decisions that The Well has made are irrational in the eyes of a lot of people. There's something larger at work. There's a God that we make these irrational decisions in obedience to, that is also sustaining us on the other side of things.

So I don't get a lot of anxiety anymore when sometimes breaks. It's like: Well, we'll get it taken care of.

You speak volumes about love by the way that you treat people and the way that you use the resources that you have. That's the encounter of Jesus that I think is really provocatively loving of everybody that we encounter.

Creators:
Grotto
Published:
January 16, 2024
June 22, 2019
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