Here is a short observation paper I wrote a few weeks ago on a local coffee shop in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. I would encourage you all if you are local or visiting to check it out and support it. For location and contact information visit Calvin Fletcher’s website.
A day in downtown Indianapolis can be a lot of fun for the small shop and restaurant seeker, and if you are an avid coffee connoisseur who likes to kick back and relax in a positive, uplifting environment, you may find yourself walking into Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company. This small and fairly new coffee shop is quickly becoming one of the most popular places for coffee lovers in the Fountain Square area.
On any typical day, I can sit in this quaint shop and see a vast diversity of individuals come and go. The shop is longer than it is wide, with a row of tables against the wall on your right as you walk in the front door. The dim lighting, earth tone colors, and soft music give it a comfortable “at home” feeling that can relax any stress filled day. To the left of the front door is first a couple tables that sit in front of a full glass store-front, when on a sunny day, you can enjoy the comfort of the indoors as well as the beauty of the outdoors. On the red brick sidewalk sits patio furniture if you would care to enjoy your beverage outdoors on a nice day. Of course, I cannot forget to mention the delightful aroma of coffee that fills the room that instantly hits your nose, soothing the mind.
As I sit and watch, something very different catches my attention, but if I do not pay close attention I will miss exactly what it is. To look around at all the ordinary people, you would think there are just people sitting around having your typical everyday conversation while enjoying their coffee. Granted, yes, there is your average every day college student studying, someone one their laptop, and yet another having a phone conversation. I have taken a closer look though; I see Bibles, devotional books, and hear words of affirmation. Now this would not be so strange if it was one table, but my observations have found four or five tables that perfectly depict this description. This is not just a rare occurrence either, as I do spend a great deal of time in this coffee shop, and have the ability to say this is an everyday setting to behold.
Walking up to the register, I notice the surroundings. Directly in front of the register is a donation box. Calvin Fletcher’s is a non-profit coffee shop that has a reputation for raising money for local Indianapolis organizations and ministries. Every month they sponsor a different organization. Sometime between entering the shop to standing at the register, if you were a regular, you would receive a very warm and cheerful welcome by name. If you were not a regular, you would promptly be asked your name upon arriving in front of the register. You immediately feel as if you are among friends or family.
Up to this point, you may think that this coffee shop is specifically for Christians. To an extent it is, but it goes far deeper. Doug Litsey, the owner, does happen to be a Christian and opened the shop as a way to reach out and help the community. He has very successfully accomplished this task as he raises money for organizations, acknowledges every customer by name, and in my personal experience even offers to lend a listening ear. An atmosphere of peace and love lingers heavily all around you.
Jesus told us to be a light to the world around us, and I believe the owner and staff of Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company has done just that. Whether you are Christian, atheist, or some other religion, there is no denying the very different and positive effect the coffee shop has given to this community. As we are enveloped in the rat race we run, suffocated by the evil of the world around us, it is nice to know there is a little hole in the wall in which we can find encouragement to go about our day with not only great coffee, but also the encouragement given by people willing to be the light that Jesus has called them to be.