FAQ: You have some questions. We have some answers.
Why are you opening a coffeeshop?
Why did you name your shop Myrtle & Cypress?
Since you are opening a for-profit business, why do you need to raise support?
As members of Rooted Way, we have invested years of our lives in the flourishing of Gifford Park and the work of empowering Christ followers to grow with God and follow Him into their homes and workplaces. Over the years, as many non-profits and missionaries have experienced, fundraising has become harder, and we have had to look to other forms of income. To be honest, we have never been fully funded.
We see the coffeeshop filling a couple of roles in the ministry of Rooted Way. Myrtle & Cypress is both a mission initiative, creating a tangible environment through which we can bless our neighborhood, AND an income generator, supplementing our ministry income as well as those of future Rooted Way apprentices through barista positions.
Our hope is that in the future, we will need to raise less support for Rooted Way, since Myrtle & Cypress will help lighten the load. Ministry + Income...it’s a win-win!
Why not just get a small business loan?
We have! Dundee bank is providing Myrtle & Cypress with a $30,000 Small Business Loan. We also successfully completed a crowdfund through ifundwomen.com for $13,000 to cover the cost of our Espresso Machine! These funds mainly came from neighbors who are dying for a coffee shop and other people in the city who want to see a community-focused coffee shop succeed. We have also invested personal funds into this initiative.
Small Businesses like M&C take time to become profitable. Our goal is to raise enough money in the first two years to be able to volunteer our time to the business. What your gifts will do is ensure that Myrtle & Cypress can pay off its loan and become viable before needing to pay employees. Your gifts also let Eric, Lisa, Brandon, and Megan continue to focus on the heart of why we are opening a shop in Gifford Park--to tangibly share the love, hope and power of Jesus!
If I support Rooted Way, what will my money be used for?
When you contribute to Rooted Way you are supporting the Purcells and Sperrys as missionaries in Gifford Park. The majority of this goes to pay our salaries. 8% covers administrative fees and 6% is used for program costs. None of your giving will go directly into the coffeeshop, except that it allows us to devote our time and presence to ministering out of that space.
How is Rooted Way using the coffeeshop for ministry?
We are REALLY excited to discover all of the ways we will get to use this space for ministry! Already it has served as a catalyzing force in drawing the residents of the Gifford Park neighborhood together-we know that Myrtle & Cypress by its very nature will continue to help people connect and feel more human! But we also want this space to help people connect and know God! Already, a small group has begun to pray weekly in the building--we know we want Myrtle & Cypress to be a place of prayer. We are also looking forward to growing our “Mom Village” initiative by creating a regular time for mom’s and their young children to gather together at the shop. Beyond these ideas, we are excited to host topic-focused group conversations and fun events. But in the end, we believe the greatest impact will be our presence in the shop serving, caring for and building trusting relationships with our neighbors. From this place we will be able to tangibly offer God’s love, hope and power. We’re not sure all the ways God will lead us as we step further into creating this space, but we are eagerly anticipating his redeeming and restoring work!
Why Gifford Park? What is this neighborhood like?
Gifford Park is a neighborhood of approximately 4,000 residents in Midtown Omaha. Midtown is the part of Omaha where all of the various cultures and socio-economic categories begin to intersect. Gifford Park is where they collide. This neighborhood is blocks away from three Fortune 500 companies, Creighton University and the greenest restaurant in the United States. It is also blocks away from North Omaha, the most violent area of our city. This neighborhood is home to revitalized buildings that rent one bedroom apartments for $1000 a month that sit next to section 8 housing. Gifford Park is home to Yates School-an ESL center for immigrants and refugees. In Gifford Park the mostly Latino south Omaha meets the largely African American North Omaha. In Gifford Park the long time blue collar, lower middle class meets the young and energetic Creighton student. In Gifford Park the wealthy condo and renovated hilltop mansion dwellers meet the homeless.
Though Gifford Park has a lot of very visible needs like homelessness, poverty and crime (though it is diminishing!)-the greatest social need we have identified is the tension that grows when you put a lot of different people in the same place. Though many here value this diversity, crossing those lines is really hard! Recently, the Police Captive for our precinct visited our neighborhood association meeting. He said, “Gifford Park is a really beautiful neighborhood with a lot of diversity. But that creates a challenge because everyone has a different idea about what makes a good neighborhood. You all have to do the hard work of finding ways to come together.”
This is the work we have put our energy toward. We believe that in this space there is a great opportunity to help people connect, not only with their neighbors, but with the God who “became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” (John 1:14 MSG)