GREENSBURG – All for One Ministries Executive Director Alex Sefton, A41 board members, and fans of the idea of a public gathering place/coffeehouse on the Square spent a good part of a recent weekend at the old Schlemmer Warehouse storefront.
Smashing shelving units, salvaging reusable wood and hauling trash to the dump, the crew began preparations for their first event: hosting Santa Claus and his elves during the Greensburg Downtown Holiday Walk scheduled for Dec. 14.
Area coffee fans have been given something of a run-around in Greensburg in recent years. With Somethin’s Perkin’ on the north side of the square recently closed, the community was excited about news of a Starbucks coming to Lincoln Street.
The national chain reportedly made a respectable profit in Greensburg, but shortly after the local franchise opened, Howard Schultz, the founder, former CEO and single-largest shareholder of Starbucks realized the company had over-extended and closed 150 stores all over the country, Greensburg’s included.
Hearing the public’s cry regarding the need for a downtown establishment like Batesville’s Amick’s Well near the business and social hub of the downtown area, Sefton and his board of crafty business leaders and voices of faith put their minds together and answered a prayer.
“We don’t want to to get into the event planning business, but the discussion is to have that be a large conference room for people to use for meetings and such,” Sefton said. “We would like to have another meeting room in the center, and the back of the building will be a worship space for us or another large conference room.”
Opening in time to catch the morning crowd and late enough for the crowd interested in a coffee after work, Sefton tentatively anticipates having a normal length business day. He anticipates hiring a business manager to take care of day to day operations, with at least eight baristas, a majority of them part-time.
Following the Amick’s Well model, Sefton anticipates volunteers helping to do back-of-the-house tasks such as washing dishes and sweeping.
“We just need to make this presentable for when Santa comes to visit,” said The Branch Capital Campaign co-chair Susan Burkhart. “There’s so much to do, but you can see what great bones this place has, and we’re just teaming with ideas.”
Burkhart added that she knows getting the new venue up and running will have to happen one step at a time, but that she’s having a tough time being patient.
“I really can’t wait, I’m just so excited!” she said.