Coffee for a Cause

Mission Grounds Cafe is the Evansville Rescue Mission’s latest social enterprise.

Opened on July 11, Mission Grounds Cafe is the latest coffee shop to grind out a location in Evansville. The cafe, owned and operated by the Evansville Rescue Mission, found a home in a space adjacent to the ERM’s new thrift store.

When ERM moved its thrift store into Washington Square Mall in June, the organization began brainstorming ideas for what to do with some extra space.

“A lot of other rescue missions around the country that we’re partners with opened coffee shop social enterprises, and we thought this is a good market to be in,” says Kyle Gorman, ERM’s executive director of advancement.

Mission Grounds features a full-service coffee menu including lattes, drip coffee, and espressos. The coffee shop also serves Bundt muffin pastries in flavors such as blueberry lemonade, cinnamon crunch, and chocolate baked each morning at ERM’s commercial kitchen at 500 E. Walnut St. Leading the charge is manager Jamie Rudibaugh, who has worked closely with her brother David at his White Swan Coffee Lab business.

All the revenue from both Mission Grounds and the thrift store goes directly back to the Evansville Rescue Mission to fund its programs for the city’s homeless population. Gorman says the coffee shop is a “social enterprise,” not a business, meaning its primary purpose is addressing a social need rather than earning profits.

“Over time, this is going to help us grow what we do,” Gorman says.  

Mission Grounds
7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday

Thrift Store
9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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