A great place to drink coffee, work and play

Published 5:27 pm Monday, February 21, 2011

Cristal Hill, Mary DeLoach and Elise Hearn enjoy the recent Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce meeting at Ekklesia in Chelsea. (Special/Shelba Nivens)

By SHELBA NIVENS / Community Columnist

“Our goal is not only to serve great coffee, but also to serve our community,” said Casey and Rachel Morris of Ekklesia Coffee House.

And they do just that through their business in Chelsea.

At Ekklesia — pronounced “Eck-la-see-ya” and meaning “called out,” — guests can find a quiet, relaxing place to read or work with a laptop, or a comfortable place for their small group meeting.

“We welcome any small group — book club, church group, etc. — to come enjoy our comfortable couches and free Wi-Fi,” Casey said.  “The place is wild every Friday morning with the New Neighbors’ Club playing games.”

Clear Water Community Church student ministry Water’s Edge and youth group Crash also meet at Ekklesia.

Other groups include book clubs, Bible studies and music groups.

An acoustic guitar group meets at the shop.  “And on the second Saturday of each month, anyone who plays a musical instrument is welcome to come and play in a jam session,” Casey said.

Outdoor concerts are also held during the summer.

Recently, a group of business people from around the county found the shop a good gathering place to drink coffee (furnished by the Morrises) share information and exchange business cards.

Focus on Chelsea was the theme for The Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce meeting on Feb. 15.

The Morrises shared a little about the coffee house, which they opened three years ago next month, and enlarged this past August.

Chelsea Mayor Earl Niven talked to the group about the city‘s rapid growth and potential. “We’re a family city,” he said, adding that the sports opportunity for children is growing every year.

Chelsea has 47 sub-divisions, the mayor said, and census for the 15-year-old city should reach 9,000 this year, while the community’s census is more than 15,000.

After housing fell off, commercial growth took off, said Niven.

Bojangles restaurant opened last week. Other businesses are in construction or planning stages, and Shelby Medical Center at Chelsea is under construction.

Niven also expressed appreciation to the Morrises for their contribution to the community.

“We love what we do,” Casey Morris said. “We don’t call the people who come in customers. We call them guests and friends.”

Ekklesia is located at 109 Foothills Parkway, behind McDonald’s. Phone: 678-4444.

They serve a full line of gourmet coffees, lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, fruit smoothies, frappes, desserts and have a growing lunch menu.

They also cater, deliver and take phone-ahead orders.

Shelba Nivens can be reached by e-mail at Shelbasn@juno.com.