Storyville Coffee's Connection to Mars Hill Is Now a Direct One


Driscoll deserves to be nailed to a cross for "reformission" alone.
Here are some wonderful places to get a good cup of coffee (and a delicious baked good) from a local merchant in the Pike Place Market:

Caffe Lieto, 1909 1st Ave

Coffee & A Specialty Bakery, 1500 Western Ave.

Ghost Alley Espresso, 1499 Post Alley

Le Panier, 1902 Pike Street

Local Color, 1902 Pike Street

The Crumpet Shop, 1503 1st Ave (great tea)


I know someone who works at Storyville and they say this is all bullshit handwringing. Let's shoot down a business because of what we suspect might be going on. Good looking out, Stranger.
I wonder if Jon Phelps is related to "deerly" departed Fred? Whats the chance?
And remember, Storyville's just a rich man's hobby to Phelps. He doesn't need a penny of whatever profit it may ever turn. He long ago struck it rich on student tuition from the private university he founded, Full Sail in Florida. Storyville could shut tomorrow and Phelps could fund Driscoll's follies for the rest of his life without noticing.
yeesh. "Every reason to believe" is pretty vague. I need something a little more hearty before I run and get my pitchfork.
Advisory Boards are rarely compensated, and if they are, it's because they're unlocked fantastic financial opportunities. So this guy is helping Storyville grow, what's the issue? The author, if anyone, must have some competing interest
Advisory Boards are rarely compensated, and if they are, it's because they're unlocked fantastic financial opportunities. So this guy is helping Storyville grow, what's the issue? The author, if anyone, must have some competing interest...ugh.
@3- How we spend our money is the most powerful weapon we have. Just because they don't pray at work doesn't mean dick. The owner is a "family values" man, Mars Hill style, and I appreciate knowing that. My lesbian friends fell in love with the Queen Anne branch until I told them and they were rightfully horrified. They would have spent hundreds there. Spread the word.
Radical Reformission was published in 2004, not 2009.
@8, you need to have your voltage adjusted or something. "The author, if anyone"? "They're unlocked"?
This place wasn't even on my radar, so my boycott would be meaningless anyway. But where the owner spends his salary is really none of my business. If he believes in a religion that I don't, that's his prerogative. There's a fine line between not wanting to support a church, and ostracizing people based on their religion. Front companies are one thing, but jumping in based only on the evidence at hand seems equivalent to boycotting Catholic or Jewish-run businesses.

If there's ever any indication that he's funneling money from the business directly to the church, or paying himself a disproportionate salary for that purpose, then I'll join the outcry, but for the time being, let's tread lightly.
The phrases "Every reason to believe" and "Might" make my antennae go up when I'm reading an article.

The Stranger has been going after Storyville for a long time. They articles are long on speculation and short on facts or direct evidence. Setting up a beautiful coffeehouse with super high quality product, expensive space, and almost painfully slow hand-crafted coffee drinks is a funny way to secretly fund a church. I can't even imagine they are profitable based on the build-out. Or, if the church were funding the coffee-house as a secret recruiting vehicle, you would expect to see more overt messaging.

I live on Queen Anne and have done a lot of research myself. After combing through 2 years worth of Storyville FB posts, and dozens of visits, I cannot find anything having to do with Mars Hill, religion or anything. Not even a Jesus Fish.

What I have found are very nice baristas who are dedicated to their craft. The coffee is excellent. They only do french press coffee and their roast is excellent. There might be a sign of god in the salted chocolate chip cookies, or maybe cocaine, because I can't stop eating them.

I would recommend any coffee lovers out there take a look at the actual experience before joining the witch hunt. Personally, I'm going for the coffee.
Welcome to Slog SvenDiego (7,8) and janemckane (6). Nice of you to join just to assure us that Storyville is a-ok and we should just move along as there's nothing to see here.
And you too Todd_Oly@13!
It isn't his religious beliefs, strictly speaking, I object to. I don't care if he's a Mars Hill fanboy, Jewish, Buddhist, pastafarian, or atheist. Regardless of his religion, Phelps is apparently a wealthy and influential person who is using his wealth and influence to support a deeply homophobic and misogynist institution.

I, for one, don't care to increase his wealth (and therefore influence) with my purchases. When there are lots of options out there, I'd far rather purchase from a business who's owner supports LGBT rights and equality for women.
KIRO is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints (Mormons) through Bonneville International Corp. so I guess whenever we listen to the Mariners or Seahawks on the radio we are supporting people who have actively opposed LGBT rights. And weren't we boycotting Target? What about those products the Koch brothers make? I want to do the right thing, but sometimes it is hard to track where the money we spend goes.

I will boycott Storyville if they actively use their space to further social causes I oppose....
BTW - I have walked past the First Avenue store and purposefully kept walking, but that was because I drink coffee at home and give my loose coins to the Spare Change people. I also agree with @16 that I prefer not to feather the nest of rich, entitled business owners when I know they are oppressing the workers or funding hateful causes, but I prefer to focus on businesses to support, not businesses to actively boycott and encourage others not to patronize. Let's be positive, people!
I prefer to patronize the mom and pop stands, the connection with the mars hill morons is too scary for me
@9 the connection to mars hill is tenuous at best. go to storyville and talk to the people to get the real story. i personally know people that work there that march at pride every year, so you tell me if a boycott is cut and dry?

comcast gave $100,000 to John Boehner this year. Who is your internet provider?
@14 & 15: Pridge, I know, right? Where in mars hill did all these first time posters suddenly bubble up?
How bout a flash crowd event of flaming queens showing up and ordering the cheepest thing possible and reading their bibles or witchcraft books?
Storyville has great coffee. Grow up
Thank you, Bethany Jean Clement for the update! I'm spreading the word to boycott Storyville Coffee if the franchise supports the pugs of Mars Hill.
@24: Please excuse my hasty entry! Make that a correction: No offense to innocent dogs, I meant ""supports the pigs of Mars Hill, starting with Mark Driscoll."
@21 - I know right? I never knew Storyville inspired such cultish devotion.
@20- Still not sure how you knowing some people that sell coffee is relevant. But tenuous it is not: "Phelps is well known as a longtime associate of Mark Driscoll’s and one of the more generous donors to Mars Hill." Follow those links if you care.
Yeah, Comcast. Amazing guess. Oh wait, it's the only good carrier so it's obvious and a total non-comparison to a coffee-shop-on-every-corner city.
One might well ask why we should spend money at Storyville. There are plenty of better options and nothing to recommend it. All things being equal, fuck em.
Interesting name for a coffee house that's associated with a Christian church. Storyville was the red light district in New Orleans during the early 20th century. It was shut down in 1917 by request of the Department of Defense who feared it would be a distraction for troops waiting to be deployed in WWI.
Love ya, Bethany, but I can't go with you on this one. In all respect, there's way too much sensationalist speculation going on here. In fact, it's kind of a deja vu to 4 years ago, when the lovely Cafe Cortona, next door to my salon, was vilified by a commenter in the CD's blog, directly connecting it to Mars Hill because the former owner was involved in that detested institution and the employees (only one of whom was a church member) suffered directly as a result of the rumor. That owner (who is now a defector of the church) made great efforts to make sure that no propaganda, church meetings or notices of events at the church were evident at the cafe, and proclaimed that the cafe, which barely if ever generated a profit, was intended to be a community gathering space in an otherwise blighted neighborhood. His mission has succeeded, and after all the witch-hunt died down a couple years ago, Cortona is a highly-respected, Black-owned, diversely-staffed, community-generating space that makes an EXcellent product. I have a feeling Storyville may very end up becoming a positive presence in a similar way, even though in a more affluent context.

@31, I'm not sure the comparison is exact, but it's great to read of a business disavowing Mars Hill and thriving afterward. I promise that the very day Jon Phelps follows in Cafe Cortona's footsteps, and quits Mars Hill publicly (rather than, as he is doing, joining its strategic board to help Driscoll even more), then I'll happily set foot in one of his millionaire's-hobby Storyville shops. Until then, no way...
Mars Hill's paid publicity machine is populating the Stranger comments with new people, new commenters, hence the first time posters suddenly joining just for this article. Mars Hill will stop at nothing. Watch these new posters subsequent posts - all will be in support of and defense of Mars Hill. I can promise you that.
@14- Holy shit, seriously! I can't believe how quickly the hive dispatched its drones to this comment thread. There are lots of bat shit churches out there, but it is this kind of shit that makes me stay miles away from anything that even has a whiff of Mars Hill connection to it.

@20: "i personally know people that work there that march at pride every year, so you tell me if a boycott is cut and dry?"
******* THIS! ************
A company's character is the sum total of EVERYONE that works there! It is an insult to all employees to assume they think in lock-step with the owner(s), don't have minds of their own, and don't bring their own ideas to bear on the culture of an organization. Would you be willing to bet your life that the owner(s) of where YOU work have 100% acceptable views/thoughts/social policy preferences? Are you SURE???? Have you had "the talk" with your boss to make sure every dollar they spend is on things you agree with, and that every vote they cast meets with your approval?

I think that the historic commission and the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority really needs to look into this. I don't know how they got past the two with such strong ties to the Mars Church
@12- " But where the owner spends his salary is really none of my business."

So would you shop at a store who's ownership funded genocide? You know in your heart it actually is your business where your money goes. You just aren't as appalled by a misogynist, homophobic, for-profit-in-most-regards megachurch as we are.

@35- If you feel like boycotting my employer because you disagree with the ownership I encourage you to do so.

I think your friends can get a barrista gig elsewhere in the city if this theocrat establishment goes under.
Why would a barista or even a store manager be told if the profits were going into Mars Hill? There are lots of gradients between fanboy and boycott. There are quite a few businesses that I avoid for various reasons (like Walmart) but I don't consider it a boycott, just a wise use of my own money. Storyville would be one of them.
Hey Bethany Jean, if you have a food intern, or if some staffer owes you a favor, the Belle Pastry database entry's record for 'name' should be updated to 'Spring Thyme Bakeshop'. It seems to have even better reviews than when the French Intern of 2010 visited. Also, Caffe Senso Unico on Olive Way is a darling downtown coffee and treats place too.
Why can't The Stranger just present some facts (scant here) and then let the reader decide what to do with that information. If there is a connection between Mars Hill and Storyville then, yeah, I don't want to spend my money there either but I don't like being told what to do. Feels cultish.
This is about as stupid of an article as saying we should all boycott Ford because Isreal buys their vans, or "Hey Christians, boycott a certain gay owned business because the business owner may or may not give to LGBT causes/orgs"... Both are ridiculous and nothing more than bullying for the sake of pushing your own agenda or ideology. Where do these Stranger reports get their "journalism" education from anyway?
I teach my 8th graders to learn, think, and then analyze.... The writer of this piece didn't even start with the learning. Yes, Mars Hill Church and fundamentalists are blinded by fear and intolerance. However people have the right to choose their faith and own a business. Are we going to start boycotting businesses because they are owned by Christians, or Muslims, or Atheists? As a non-christian, and liberal gay coffee drinker, this is most anti tolerant thing I've ever heard. You have the right to choose where you spend your money, just like Christian owners of a coffee company. As for me, I'm going to choose great coffee and a company that doesn't give any of it's surplus to a church but to the International Justice Mission. Do your homework reporter, or go back to 8th grade and learn something.
So for those that don't know Storyville operates differently then most other business in that the owner and president of the company are in constant contact with even the lowest rung of the ladder. So yeah a barista does know what's going on with the funds of the company because the owner is kind enough to share that info with his employees.

Ask a barista and you will soon find out that because Mr. Phelps owns a school (as was mentioned previously) 100% of the profit Storyville makes are being donated to non-profit organizations that are putting a stop to Human Trafficking in the Seattle area.

I too also know employees that work at Storyville and march in pride every year.

Boycott all you want but make sure you do it for the right reasons and right now I don't see a single one.