Photo by Ashely Brown, Shining Light Photography
I grew up in Vermont not going to church until sixth grade when my mom met a Baptist pastor that lived down the street from us. We started attending his church, but when he moved south we stopped going.
I knew there was something bigger, but God wasn’t significant in my life until my early thirties. I started to feel something was missing in my life. I felt like God needed to lead my life and I began to go to church. In 2008, the company I worked for offered me the opportunity to go to Australia and work. I immediately said yes, as I felt God was calling me to go so that he could heal me and prepare me for my future.
Meanwhile, one of my business clients who lived in California kept talking to me about a man she felt God was leading her to tell me about. I knew I would be moving to Australia soon so I really didn’t think it was a good time to meet someone. But on Valentine’s Day I was out with friends and they talked me into texting her and asking her for a photo of him. He was with her at the time and she sent his photo and I sent my photo back to him. I told him I would be leaving for Australia in just a couple of months. But we began communicating often.
Then my paperwork for departure was delayed and so he flew to Rhode Island, where I was living, to meet me. It was the most magical weekend of my life. I knew I had met The One. In May, I flew to California to see him and he proposed. Shortly after, my paperwork was approved and I moved to Australia.
I knew no one, but I found a church and went every Sunday. I woke up every morning and read Scripture, walked to and from work praying, and then read Scripture again at night. There was so much healing, forgiveness, and acceptance during this time. I don’t think I could have had a healthy relationship if I hadn’t had time to heal. In December 2008, I returned to the states working for the same company, and in January 2009 we were married. I was able to work from home so I could live in California with my husband who was a winemaker there.
Two sons followed and I continued to work from home for the same company, which was a true blessing. But my husband and I felt that someday we would work together in hospitality. We thought it would be in the wine business, and our church family had prayed for us and told us the same thing but that it would be something parallel to winemaking.
In 2010, we went to visit his family in South Africa. We visited wineries and one had a coffee roastery. While we sipped our cappuccinos and looked around, we both felt “This is it. This is what we are supposed to do.” Then somewhat randomly my husband met up with a friend from high school that he hadn’t seen for years and he told us about a man who was opening a coffee roastery in Cape Town. We went to Cape Town and ended up touring some very hip coffee shops. In the airport on the way home we were thinking about what to name our coffee business. There was a sign that said Daily Offerings. That was it.
In 2011, we bought a coffee roaster, put it in our kitchen, and began roasting. We both completed barista and roasting training. I began selling coffee at farmer’s markets and wine events. Interestingly, coffee roasting and wine making are similar (parallel, you could say). My husband is a soil scientist, and for both coffee roasting and winemaking, you must know about the type of soil and growing conditions and how this impacts the flavor. For both coffee roasting and winemaking, you must be able to execute the right process to bring out maximum flavor, and finally, you must have the palate to be able to taste and pick out the notes in both coffee and wine.
By 2014, we had decided California was not where our new coffee business would be. My grandparents and uncle lived in a small town in Kentucky and we visited regularly. We really liked Kentucky and felt sad when we had to leave. It felt like home. We decided Kentucky was the place and both felt Lexington was the city. My husband found a space downtown across from the convention center. After we opened, we really saw what God’s intention was. We never set out to become a “Christian coffee shop.” Our business plan was to teach people about coffee and our tag line was “rediscover coffee,” but “rediscover” meant something else. God led us to start worship nights. Some people have even accepted Christ here. One particular day we had about 15 customers and every one of them was focused on God. Pastors meeting, people praying over one another, another reading the Bible. One of the customers said to me, “Do you feel it? The Holy Spirit is so thick in here right now!” I just started crying. Even non-Christians say they like the feeling here.
We left our financial security, our jobs, our home, our friends, to start over completely. We were operating on faith. We trusted that God brought us to this place for a purpose and we see Him daily working through our business. We pray, believe, and trust in Him—and He is faithful.
A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.