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Little Local Gems: How Everyday Joe’s Coffee House began

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High, open ceilings, light chatter and a welcoming atmosphere greet one as they walk into Everyday Joe’s Coffee House on Mason Street.

Underneath the rustic string lights and in between the walls showcasing artwork is a space where people have come to enjoy coffee with friends, celebrate weddings, relish in the moment of a concert and gather for church services since 2003. 


Chris Hess, the executive director of the coffee house and a pastor of the Timberline Old Town Church, which hosts its services in the coffee house, said the cafe serves as a community outreach for the church.

Hess explained how a former pastor, Paul Aragon, was walking in Old Town Fort Collins in 2002, which, according to Hess, was full of warehouses. When Aragon saw the warehouse on Mason, he thought it could be a home for the church, called Joshua’s Crossing at the time.

Even through the pandemic, Everyday Joe’s provides a space for community — a place where people can come together under an atmosphere that embraces all.”

As the church dug its roots into the warehouse, the leaders were trying to find a way to make the space more than just a space used on Sundays. Hess explained that they were thinking of ways to use the space to the greatest benefit of the neighborhood. It was important for the church to find what could be best for the community, and with fewer coffee shops in Old Town than there are today, a coffee house seemed like the place to start. Everyday Joe’s began to embrace more types of events, such as weddings, concerts and art galleries.

One of the unique aspects of the coffee house is the art that covers its walls, showcasing the talents of local artists in the cafe’s very own Bolt Gallery. The local creations add character to the space while representing the community factor the organization strives for. 

warehouse coffee shop
Everyday Joe’s Coffee House, a nonprofit in Old Town, functions as an art gallery, a coffee shop and as a church on Sundays with services at 9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. (Anna Tomka | The Collegian)

“Here, it’s not just like another coffee shop where we’re just trying to get as many coffees as we can out in a shorter amount of time,” said Jordan Odstrcil, a junior at CSU who volunteers as a barista at Everyday Joe’s. “We want to be able to ask customers how their day is going, and just get to know them a little bit, especially if they’re new.”

Odstrcil was excited to work her first shift in March 2020 when COVID-19 made its impact on the establishment. She remembered her excitement when she heard she could come back in August: “So, once Connor (Garland, Everyday Joe’s executive director) sent the message out to everyone that we were able to come back as volunteers, and we weren’t able to do dine in but still come back, (it) was super exciting.”

Similar to many businesses, COVID-19 hit Everyday Joe’s with a different kind of force. It took away the organization’s ability to hold concerts after they had just made new changes to their music venue. It also took funding away from events, like weddings and art galleries, the establishment holds. Most significantly, it gave the church a challenge to maintain the neighborhood community it had spent years cultivating. But the community has held on through the chaos of 2020. 

The community came back together on Christmas Eve in the parking lot across the street from Everyday Joe’s, where there was a view of the stage erected in front of the mural outside the coffee house. 

“So we had two Christmas Eve services outside in the parking lot,” Hess said. “And a lot of people came, and people stopped who were just walking by, heard the music and just stopped. So it felt very ‘neighborhoodly,’ and moments like that have been the best part of the pandemic, right?” 


Even through the pandemic, Everyday Joe’s provides a space for community — a place where people can come together under an atmosphere that embraces all. Welcoming the community is one of the organization’s core values — it’s even clearly displayed in a mural in the front of the coffee shop. The mural references a chapter in the book of Isaiah in the Bible, where all the creatures come together in unity. 

“I really enjoyed how everyone is so welcoming,” said Leah Meleski, a freshman at CSU who visited the coffee shop. “The whole place is not just aesthetic, but it has such a positive atmosphere, and the people are so happy to be there.”

Kailey Pickering can be reached at or on Twitter @PickeringKailey.

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