by Lauren Pinkston
Mission House Café, tucked away in a renovated Victorian home in South Berwyn, brings customer service and community outreach together by using profits from serving food and beverages to benefit local and global charities.
The café’s handcrafted refreshments and rustic atmosphere makes it stand out from the average coffee shop.
Berwyn’s Assemblies of God Pentecostal Church runs the café; its children’s pastor, Joshua Brniak, manages it on a day-to-day basis.
“My goal as the manager is to provide a warm and inviting environment while serving the highest quality coffee and food around, meet and build connections within our community, and provide a meeting place for people from all walks of life,” Brniak said.
Mission House Café exudes modern, rustic charm in all the details, from the scuffed wood-paneled floor, to the ceramic deer head mounted above an antique wood-burning fireplace.
The menu features old favorites with a new twist. Tomato basil soups and Italian sausages are served alongside specialty lattes and teas.
This month, Mission House is serving the Duck Face Latte and Be Mine Latte in observance of Valentine’s Day, paired with a caramel bacon donut.
Sue Bryant , Berwyn resident and regular patron of Mission House, especially enjoys the bacon donuts, but that’s not the only reason she keeps coming back.
“What’s really nice about them is they support a different organization each month… when you go and buy your coffee, it’s going to a purpose,” said Bryant.
For February, profits will go to Hines Fisher House, which helps family members, caregivers and loved ones of veterans being treated at the Edward Hines Veterans Affairs Hospital in nearby Maywood.
Brniak takes a great deal of care in choosing the organizations that will benefit from the café.
“My boss and I, Pastor David Tinberg, will talk about specific needs in our area or look for opportunities to shed light on others,” he said, “Once we choose the organization I will look to contact them and try and provide our customer’s information about their mission and services provided.”
In addition to spotlighting local and global charities by donating profits, Mission House Café partners with I Have a Bean. This coffee roaster, located in Wheaton, Il., has distinctive social purpose, much like Mission House Café.
“I Have A Bean provides employment for ex-cons as an effort to help them be rehabilitated into society,” Brniak explained.
Mission House Café opened for business in June 2014 at 618 W. 34th St, Berwyn, IL. Since then, the workers and managers say they have made it their purpose to serve their community coffee and compassion.
“I have the best job in the world, we also have the friendliest staff around with a compassion for the needs around us,” Brniak said.