Eugene Cho

how to start your own non-profit cafe

 

One of the most common emails I get is about Q Cafe and it goes something like this:

How did you start Q Cafe?

and then it escalates into about 50 other additional questions. Q Cafe opened its doors in 2002 and during that time, there weren’t many folks to ask simply because there weren’t many who were doing these kinds of things. In the first couple years, I genuinely tried to be a good dude and attempted to answer those questions but eventually, I couldn’t sustain it. I stopped responding to most of the emails or at best, I responded with my infamous “Haiku Emails”…

Hey.
Your vision is cool.
Go for it.
Hard work.

And indirectly, I ended up being a jerk not because I’m a jerk (or at least, I hope I’m not) but I just couldn’t answer all the emails and our other cafe staff are stretched as it is. This is why we’ve tried to pull some resources together to be of some small assistance and encouragement to folks.

I ended up videotaping a Q/A session Read the rest of this entry »

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better than an open letter to derek webb

I want to know:

What is all the controversy about Derek Webb?

He’s gifted. He’s talented. Great song writer. His wife, Sandra McCracken, is even more talented. He’s seeking to live out his faith in Christ. He looks good bald. And he’s my 5’7″ height so bonus points for that.

Why such controversy?

  • So, he says the occasional “sh*t” word in a song.
  • He’s sympathetic to the LGBLT community.
  • He’s calling the Christian community to take up love in the pursuit of Christ.

This is controversy?

…Resulting in open letters here, open letters there; boycotts; criticism; blah blah blah.

Even people as going as far as threatening to “unlike” and “de-friend” Derek on FB and lots of Twit-buking going on.

Wow. It’s on now…

I’ve got something better than an open letter: Read the rest of this entry »

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break dancing competition at qcafe

We were hosting a rental fundraiser via a b-boy competition and so after a busy and eventful Saturday, I stopped by the Q Cafe in the late evening for some relaxation and flashback to the past.

I wasn’t expecting much but woah, these cats were serious and there were some pretty good 1v1 b-boy/b-girl competition going on. Here’s a clip of some of the battles of : Read the rest of this entry »

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starbucks “de-brands” itself as your local cafe

photo from Seattle PI

By now, many folks know that Starbucks has chosen to experiment by “de-branding” themselves by opening up three “neighborhood” coffee & tea shops called 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea. Along with coffee and tea, these stores will also sell wine and beer. I have yet to visit one of these shops but intend to at some point to see what the fuss is about.

The question is: “Will it work?”

I was told my Starbucks employees that they’re goal is to entice people that don’t normally go to Starbucks. And while some may go, they should be smart enough to know that that folks that are reasons why folks don’t go to Starbucks.  De-Branding yourself isn’t going to change that, will it?

Will it? Good idea?

Here’s my take: Read the rest of this entry »

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double tall vanilla latte and a goat?

Q Cafe

Let’s first get the coffee espresso snob question out of the way:

What’s “your” espresso drink? Or are you a tea person?

In the face of some incredibly shocking statistics about extreme global poverty, it’s easy and understandable to feel paralyzed. I’ve often felt this way but instead of feeling the burden to change the world, just think about making an impact on one person, or one family, or one small village.

As some of you know, I also serve as the executive director of a non-profit community cafe called Q Cafe. I’m joined on the Advisory Board by Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: justice, non-profit, Q Cafe, , , , , , ,

f**k human trafficking. there i said it.

source: amnesty international

Is it possible that we as Christians just aren’t angry enough about injustices like human trafficking and slavery?  Perhaps, we’ve grown too desensitized, domesticated, and docile. I’m not trying to say this for the sake of the ‘shock factor’ but I really believe there are times when the Church needs to have a deep[er] anger about the grave injustices of the world particularly when it involves the exploitation of children. Have we deduced our faith to convenient and self serving pleasantries?

Because we are informed and transformed by Christ, I wonder if we just need to say: Read the rest of this entry »

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dream job: wanna be barista & music promoter

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What would be your dream job?

Mine would – in part – encompass my current roles as “Chief Barista and Music Promoter.” Okay, maybe not my ultimate dream job since that would be playing shortstop for the Seattle Mariners but being the Executive Director of Q Cafe is one of the best parts of my job.  I love being a pastor but wearing one hat or at least working in a traditional box of what a pastor does [aka – work just in church building] would drive me insane. About six years ago, the then 40+ people of Quest took a huge step of faith and helped start Q Cafe with the hopes of blessing our larger neighborhood.  The vision of the cafe is pretty simple:

Q Cafe is non-profit neighborhood cafe in Seattle featuring direct trade espresso and tea, live music, art, and community events.

or in four words:

Be a good neighbor.

Why do I love my work at Q?  Free coffee, hang w/ the baristas, love the Advisory Board, meet neighbors, enjoy local artists and musicians, sponsor community events, and donate 10% of sales to a new local non-profit every month.

Anyway, I had the chance to swing by Q Cafe last night to enjoy a show.  I don’t get to go too often but try to check in to keep my youthfulness. Here’s a crappy video to give folks a glimpse of the show from last night: Read the rest of this entry »

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film screening: ‘crossing’ into north korea

Simple invitation: Join me to watch this award winning film – Crossing – at Q Cafe.  Here’s the FaceBook Invitation.

Awareness can not be underestimated.  One of my goals in life is to raise awareness and then see if and how people respond.  I can’t control that response but I can work towards raising awareness.

There are certainly many issues but one that is still hidden to much of  the consciousness of the larger world is the grave suffering and injustices in North Korea.  And yes, it is close to my heart because North Korea is where my ancestors are from.

The special screening of the film – CROSSING – co-sponsored by Q Cafe and Quest Church on Monday, May 4 @ 7pm.  Every person that I know that have seen the film says it is incredible.  It was considered for an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film in 2009 and stars an actor I respect immensely – Cha In Pyo – not just for his talent but for his compelling altruism and humanitarian efforts.  Tickets are ONLY $5 and $3/students but if you can’t afford it for whatever reason, I will comp your ticket.  ALL proceeeds go to support the work compassion and justice in North Korea. You can buy the tickets here.  We are partnering with Liberty in North Korean [LiNK].  They will also be present at the film screening to introduce the film and conduct some Q/A.

Here’s the 2 minute trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

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qcafe gives back 10%

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As we have this past year, we will be giving away 10% of our monthly cafe sales to an outside non-profit organization.  Our hope is to focus mostly on organizations based here in Seattle – non-profits doing good work both locally or globally.   Read the rest of this entry »

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jazz and live music

I know I’ve been hawking the Q Cafe alot lately but it’s because I’m really excited about Q Cafe 2.0.  Things are still a little slow but the momentum is growing.  Please stop by and enjoy a great cup of coffee or tea.  You will love your cup of coffee – I guarantee it.   If you don’t enjoy your cup of coffee, I’ll either pay off your mortage, college tuition, or remaining car payments!  Jazz – with Victor Puentes and friends – is featured for a special show at Q Cafe tonight [Tuesday, February 12].  Doors open at 7.30pm and cover is ONLY $3.

Quick question:  Are there any local artists in the Northwest that you’d love to see at the Q Cafe?  Give us your ideas, suggestions, and feedback.

You can check QCafe also on MySpace as well. Because our Friday [or Sat] shows are our featured shows, we have to say “no” to many of the requests we get. Please don’t get angry. However, our live music coordinator is scheduling a monthly show featuring both scheduled and spontaneous artists for an Open Mic Showcase. Here are some of the upcoming shows.  You’ll love all of these artists but if there’s one show to catch, my pick would be Andy Davis [this Friday]:

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: entertainment, , , ,

stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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