The inside of Thrive Coffee & Creamery is bright and light, with pastel colors and a rustic modern aesthetic. This non-profit store’s only been open for three months, but it’s become popular with the residents of Fayette, Missouri.
"You’re going to see college students hanging out in here. Yeah, maybe they only purchase, you know, a four or five dollar thing, and then they stay here for three to four hours and they talk, they have fun, they play games, and they get to know people,” Clayton Kreisel said.
Kreisel is the president of the non-profit organization that runs Thrive. The store began as a dream for him to combine his love for ice cream and his faith, as Kreisel is also a pastor for Central Methodist University in Fayette.
“We were trying to figure out, how do we send people to the nations, how can we help send out missionaries overseas, and how can we help do ministry in our local community?” Kreisel said.
Fifty percent of the store’s profits goes toward projects in the Fayette area, such as school programs and food pantries, as well as funding mission trips for local students.
Raising money isn’t the only way Thrive is reaching out to its community. The store also hosts events. Earlier in October, elementary school students launched Alka-Seltzer rockets outside the store to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. And later in the month, Thrive plans on bringing live music to its patio.
Kreisel hopes that Thrive’s efforts will give new energy to the community and bring more to Fayette.
“My hope is that we can inspire people to say, ‘Hey, that shop made it! We could do something in Fayette.’ You know, I’d love to see lots of entertainment things for the community pop up here. I’d love to see a movie theater, someday, you know, something like that,” Kreisel said.
As for now, Thrive Coffee & Creamery’s short-term goals are to solidify their hours and introduce a breakfast menu.
This story was originally aired on Off The Clock, hosted by Emily Aiken.