With the launch of our Sparta Campus, New Hope Fellowship is now expanding our #For series to include Sparta businesses and people who are doing great things in the communities we call home. We're excited to share with you our first #ForSparta spotlight: Elsa McPherson and Franklin Coffeehouse!
The idea behind our #For series is based upon what Paul writes in Philippians 4:8 "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." We want to bring to light the people and businesses in the communities we live in who are doing things that are worthy of praise or excellently done in the hopes that by bringing more awareness of the amazing people and pursuits in our community, that YOU might be moved to stop in and encourage the owners, operators, and all the people making these good things happen. Maybe even pray for and pray over them. These ripples of kindness and support will not return void.
#ForSparta: Franklin Coffee
July 10th, 2019
I was elated to learn that our little town of Sparta was getting a coffee shop. Franklin Coffeehouse has now been in operation for over a year and seems to be thriving. I frequent there enough that I can honestly say “Been there, done that, and got the t-shirt!”. This has also become the go to spot for our cherished one on one Mommy/Daughter dates after school, and of course, for the delicious hot chocolate and coffee. I believe that my contributions alone could keep them in business, but it’s not only because their drinks are so wonderful. The story behind this cozy little shop caught my attention as well.
Elsa McPherson was just 19 years old when she opened Franklin Coffeehouse! She says she knew she didn’t want to pursue college immediately after high school and had actually planned on being a secretary or social media worker for McPherson Guitars. “I have lived in Sparta my whole life and have always had that wanderlust feeling. I was going to work and save up money, then travel. That was it, not much to it and no back-up plan.” The summer of 2017 Elsa and her parents started slowly talking about the prospect of a coffee truck or coffee shop. With her parents support and encouragement, Elsa rented a building and started making her dream a reality. That was also the summer she took her first international mission trip to Vietnam. When she returned home, she says, “I realized I had no business experience, no barista/coffee shop experience, nothing, other than some customer service working for Culvers.”
As luck would have it, a couple from Elsa’s church introduced her to the owners of Bella Goose Coffee from the Wisconsin Dells. Their mission is to use the profits from each bag of coffee sold to open new coffee shops around the world that fight human trafficking. Not only does Elsa get her coffee from Bella Goose, but they were the ones who gave her barista training and taught her about the coffee shop business.
Hopefully you see now what I mean by her story totally capturing my attention. This young lady is following her heart and dreams to better those lives around her one cup of coffee (or hot chocolate) at a time. Sometimes we think that we are too small to make a large impact on our community much less the world. But as Mother Teresa said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” I think Miss Elsa is doing just that.
“I hope and pray that this shop mainly brings glory to God, and that every customer that enters leaves happier than when they came in. I want this shop to be an outlet for them, to come and relax, meet up with old or new friends, get away from their crazy life, or maybe get some work done. It’s small in here but our hearts are big, and I think bringing that friendly welcoming atmosphere to Sparta is what we need. My favorite thing that I have gotten out of my shop, is the relationships that I have gained from it. It makes you realize how extremely beautiful, unique and different everyone is from each other!”
Photos and Article by Casey Moen for New Hope Fellowship. 2019