Expanding space, expanding ministry

By KATIE HURST/ Staff Writer

CHELSEA — Ekklesia Coffee in Chelsea is not a drive through, grab your coffee and go kind of place, said co-owner Casey Morris.

Since its founding in 2008, the local coffee shop has thrived on the relationships formed within its four walls.

This summer, Morris and his wife, Rachel, decided the way to expand these relationships was by adding a few more walls.

The couple recently expanded the store by adding an additional seating area, effectively doubling the seating capacity.

“Our business, it’s ministry-minded,” Morris said. “We really want to build relationships with our customers. The expansion will really open the door for many more ministries at the coffee shop.”

Within the first few days of opening the new seating area, the store had six meeting requests from local book clubs and Bible studies, Morris said.

Groups and clubs have always been welcome to meet there, he said, and now they just have a little more space to do it. The coffee shop can now accommodate 32 guests.

“When you have more space, people feel like they can come here and have a little privacy,” he said.

The New Neighbors Club of Chelsea meets at the coffee shop to play cards every Friday morning.

“That alone took up all our seating on Friday morning,” Morris said. “We wanted to build this for them since they’ve been such loyal guests to us. They loved it.”

Like the rest of their business, the Morrises kept the expansion personal.

Instead of contracting the work out, the couple recruited their family members and tackled the job over a long weekend.

“We’re kind of hands-on people,” Morris said. “I don’t have a lot of experience in it, but I don’t mind working and getting my hands dirty.”

In the future, the couple plans to use the expansion to host more concerts and praise and worship groups at the store.

In the meantime, they’ll continue their ministry one customer at a time, getting to know each person by name and by drink.