The name-your-own-price method implemented at 101 South College is already racking up funds to benefit the local community.
After Soma Waxahachie congregated at Straight From Philly for the past several months, its pastor, Josh Elsom, created, constructed and officially opened the doors to a venue area around the corner to hold church services.
With services only held on Sundays, Elsom thought it was appropriate to find other uses for the building located in front of the marvelous Ellis County Courthouse. So, Tuesday through Saturday the front of the building operates as a storefront offering teas and coffees. The building also serves as an event venue for rent.
101 South College, which is both its storefront name and address, held a grand opening Tuesday. The name-your-own-price coffees, teas and snacks had generated over $100 by lunchtime.
Elsom described the aesthetic as modern and "minty-fresh cool."
On the wall is an abstract piece of art that incorporates the color scheme of the building with mint and greys. If a patron looks closely, he or she will recognize that it is actually a map of downtown Waxahachie.
The front of the building will serve bottomless coffee, flavored teas and snacks at a "suggested" price. The charming location also offers Wi-Fi, numerous electrical outlets, and an exquisite view of the Ellis County Courthouse.
One concept behind the name-your-own-price is that it presents the opportunity to initiate the conversation of the message behind Soma.
"The church is its own entity, but we are starting another nonprofit for the business end of it," Elsom explained. "We really want to resource needs in Waxahachie by what we do with the space. When we take on sales that are above our bottom line or operational costs, we will give back to Waxahachie."
For sale are Urban Joe coffee and the all-natural homemade teas.
Urban Joe Coffee is locally roasted by Charles Frame, who resides in Maypearl and serves as an editor of Urban Well Magazine.
"It's a local roaster, so not only are we able to raise revenue to do the things that we want but help him as well," Elsom said.
Alicia Carvalho currently works for the Public Housing Authority and heard about the grand opening on Facebook. She promptly marked it on her calendar to check out the place and eventually, ordered a cold brew that had a hint of pecan.
"It's really good and tastes like a vanilla latte to me," Carvalho said.
Carvalho said she was not familiar about the mission behind 101 South College but was a fan of the name-your-own-price concept.
"I think it's a really good idea because a lot of people don't realize how many low-income people live around here — how many people who don't have the opportunity to walk into whatever coffee shop and get whatever they want," Carvalho explained. "It's kind of nice that someone else can pay $5 so someone else can pay $1."
Elsom then informed the first-time customer that all of the July extra proceeds will benefit a single mother who is currently facing homelessness from her home.
For more information on 101 South College, like its page on Facebook or visit www.101soco.com. Visit 101 South College Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. — 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. — 4 p.m.
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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450