West Bank Leaf & Bean

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : August 9, 2005

Many of you know about my plans to start a tea/coffee house on the West Bank of Minneapolis (orignally the idea was a tea house, but I’ve expanded the business concept to include coffee beverages as well).  The basic idea is to open a tea/coffee house on the West Bank to build stronger ties to the West Bank.  I would own the business, but Missio Dei would benefit directly by the presence of the "West Bank Leaf & Bean" because I would be creating a much-needed 3rd Place that will intentionally market to the diverse people of the West Bank. Missio Dei would also utilize the space for meetings and rent office space from the lower level of the building I’m thinking of leasing.  Meanwhile, the West Bank Leaf & Bean would make its upper level (the building I’m looking at has three levels) to local community organizations.  I believe God is leading me in this direction; I think it is the most incarnational thing I can do, and it will directly serve the mission of Missio Dei.  However, I must point out that the West Bank Leaf & Bean won’t be a "Christian Coffeshop" in the conventional sense.  It will simply be owned by a Christian and be available to people from Missio Dei.  It will also be available to other community groups, regardless of their beliefs or background. 

The latest news is that I’ve finished my business plan.  Thursday I’m going to an SBA informational meeting about loans and finances.  I’ve also contacted a potential landlord about leasing their property. 

Here’s the thing: I need partners and/or investors.  I have some small start-up capital, but usually one has to have a 4:1 ratio of loan money to start-up capital.  In other words, if I am going to get a loan of $120,000, I’ll need the startup capital of $30,000.  This is an SBA rule of thumb. Unfortunately, I don’t have that much money. 

I’m now ACTIVELY looking for investors/partners.  If you are even remotely interested or intrigued in helping with this project, please contact me.  I can provide you with a copy of the business plan (after you sign a confidentiality agreement), and we can talk terms.  I am willing to entertain any sort of arrangement. 


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3 Responses to “West Bank Leaf & Bean”

  1. Kevin Cawley on August 9th, 2005 11:11 pm

    Bro– I wish I had the money to chip in. But I’m cheering for you with all my might.

    I just started reading your blog and am loving it. I lived in the Marcy Holmes neighborhood for a year and a half and am quite familiar with the InnerChange folks in Mpls, so I feel like I have even more reasons to cheer for you.

    Press on brother– I’m eager to watch this unfold for you and your community!

  2. JV Dworak on August 10th, 2005 10:27 am

    Mark - call me today! JVD

  3. Van S on August 10th, 2005 12:00 pm

    I did! I left a message.

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