Marc and Denise Atchley - August 2017
with Marc and Denise Atchley
Our TEAM partner Brad Newport shared a recent article in Blue Magazine entitled "Athens thirsts for third wave coffee" (how much better if it had read "Athens thirsts for Living Water" ... but fortunately, we can help them with both!). By "third wave coffee" we mean coffee that from seed to cup is handled with the utmost care to provide the best coffee experience to the consumer. It's a movement that seeks to elevate coffee beyond commodity status and treat it as a fine food, not unlike wine. Because the process begins on the farm where the coffee is grown, consumers are increasingly interested in making sure that both workers and the environment are well cared for. And there is also constant innovation. Farms are improving the plant species and experimenting with processing methods. Roasters are taking more care to develop the aromas and flavors that distinguish one coffee from another (not just African coffees from South American, but sometimes different coffees grown on the same farm!). And coffeehouses are creating new ways to brew up this freshly roasted coffee to delight both nose and pal.
One coffeehouse innovation that is spreading across the globe is nitrogenated coffee (a.k.a. Nitro). Nitro is coffee (typically cold-brewed) that is infused with nitrogen to give it a rich, creamy texture. The cold brewing method itself is not new, but it is experiencing a resurgence in popularity because it produces a deliciously smooth coffee with lower acidity and higher caffeine. Plus, more and more consumers are turning to cold coffee beverages (e.g., iced lattes and frappes) ... not just during summer months, but year-round. While one Greek coffee shop chain - Coffee Island - has already introduced Nitro in many of its stores this summer, it is largely unheard of in other coffeehouses ... even among the handful of elite third wave shops in Athens.
So, certainly part of our plan is to join that handful of elite third wave coffee shops, and hopefully lead the way in introducing global trends. But one important feature of the coffeehouse that is not innovative -- and, indeed, actually addresses certain problems of our innovation driven societies -- is its function as a "third place". A "third place" is that place apart from home and work where we experience community life. While innovations in social media have created virtual third place, research is beginning to recognize the need for physical third places in order to build real community. Church is an obvious third place for believers. But since many non-believers avoid entering a church building, they are meeting this need for third place elsewhere. The television shows "Cheers" and "Friends" illustrate how bars and coffeehouses fill the need for third place. So by creating an inviting coffeehouse to meet "Athens' thirst for third wave coffee", we are really creating a third place where we and fellow believers can establish community with non-believers and address that deeper thirst that only Jesus Christ can satisfy.
Our plan is to establish and operate for-profit coffeehouses that will not only provide for the livelihoods of employees, but also replace our missionary support as the business achieves sustainability. If you or someone you might know would like to prayerfully explore partnership in this venture, please let us know. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please pray that God would help us to sell our home. It's an older house (built circa 1925) with plenty of character (good and not-so-good), and it will take just the right buyer. We're trusting the Lord to bring that buyer along, and we're praying that it will be soon. Thank you in advance for your prayers!
Marc flies to Greece on October 11 for a week to gather information for the business plan and explore school options for the kids. Please pray that God would bless Marc's trip and watch over Denise and the children in his absence.