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A coffeehouse that cares
By Alicia Fabbre | Daily Herald Columnist

The Cup of Joy coffeehouse in Wasco also serves as an office for owner Chris Fisher and his other ventures. As a tithe cafe, the business earmarks 10 percent of receipts for charity.

 

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

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Published: 3/14/2008 12:12 AM

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Chris Fisher was just looking for some office space.

But all he found was expensive leases. So rather than get into a high-priced lease, Fisher decided to try his hand at running his own coffee house. He was already spending time in coffee shops working on his laptop. Opening one of his own would give him an office away from home and a new venture.

Cup of Joy Cafe opened in Wasco on Feb. 1. A small corner table serves as Fisher's office -- when he's not behind the counter helping out or greeting customers.

While the coffeehouse fulfills Fisher's need for an outside office, it also has become his way of sharing his faith and information about area ministries and charitable groups, such as Lazarus House, Glenwood School for Boys and World Relief.

Customers in Fisher's shop can't help but learn about area ministries. As a tithe cafe, Fisher donates 10 percent of all sales to area ministries and charitable groups. Customers determine where the 10 percent from their sale will go by dropping their receipt in one of 10 boxes on a wall near the register.

"It started as a need for me to find office space," Fisher said. "But I've created a business that can not only sustain itself but sustain some ministries at the same time."

Fisher said it was his faith that prompted him to tithe to local groups. He points to a Bible verse that talks tithing, and his personal experience, as the foundation for his tithe cafe.

"Every time I give to God, He keeps giving back," said Fisher, who attends Christ Community Church.

Fisher points to a verse from the Bible as the foundation for his tithe cafe:

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." Malachi 3:10 (New International Version)

The cafe is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. It offers customers a selection of coffee and iced drinks, pastries, sandwiches, soups and desserts. Fisher hopes to add hot breakfast menu items -- such as French toast -- to help lure morning customers.

And though the cafe is still in its infancy, Fisher is hopeful that within a year the business will support itself and provide enough income to open a second shop in Elburn. He already has begun storing equipment for a second shop.

He plans to continue his other two companies -- one of which provides newsletters to local subdivisions and another that supports Web sites for the same subdivisions. He'll continue his work for those companies from his small table in the coffee shop.

Cup of Joy Café is located at 40W450 Route 64 in Wasco. For information, call (630) 377-9569 or visit online at www.cupofjoycafe.com.

A tithe cafe

These area ministries benefit from Cup of Joy Cafe receipts:

• Wayside Cross Ministries

• Glenwood School for Boys

• Riverwoods Christian Center

• Crisis Pregnancy Center

• Wasco Elementary School PTO

• Lydia Safe Families

• An orphanage in Haiti

• World Relief DuPage/Aurora

• Lazarus House

• Anderson Animal Shelter