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

My Instagram

People often ask, "How does one stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much. I like the rain. Keeps everything "evergreen" and clean. Keeps our air fresh. What's challenging is the gray weather. Give me a few more sunny days. 99 more days to be specific. 
Regardless, still love this city. Checking out Canada in case I need to move up North after the presidential election. Just saying, eh.

Downtown Toronto. Fascinating architecture. Amazed by the diversity of this city. We desperately want our children to not just be captivated by the beauty of creation...but more importantly, to the actual Creator of all that is good and beautiful.

Actually, we want and need this truth for our souls, too. What a privilege. This isn't possible without all those who give, pray, and support the work of @onedayswages. This week, I signed and mailed grants to three partner organizations totaling over $170,000. These grants will empower people by supporting maternal health care, refugee relief efforts, access to clean water, provide education, etc.

Sometimes, the brokenness of the world feel so overwhelming but let's keep running the race with endurance. Let's keep pursuing justice, mercy, and humility. Let's be faithful and may we be spurred on to keep working for God's Kingdom...on earth as it is in heaven.

Again, thank you so much for your support for @onedayswages! My wife, Minhee, and I stand on the shoulders of praying mothers. I'd like to take a moment to honor my mother-in-law. It's hard to put words together to embody her life but she is a very special, anointed person. I'm so blessed to have her as a mother in my life.

She was a devoted wife until she lost her husband to cancer, mother to three daughters, and later became a pastor. She became a follower of Christ as an adult and as such, led her her family to Christ. In her late 50s, she obeyed God's calling to go to seminary and be a leader in the church. She graduated #1 in her class and reminded us that it's never too late to follow a new dream or calling.

As she'll soon celebrate her 80th birthday, I'm especially grateful for the ways that she poured into and prayed over Minhee and her other children.  Even though she's officially retired, I'm inspired that the concept of retirement is not in her vocabulary.  She continues to serve the local church, evangelize and bear witness to Christ, and goes to the early morning prayer meeting at 5am everyday to pray for our family, our church, and for others. 
Jangmonim, we love and honor you. 어머니, 사랑합니다.

Someday, I hope that when my kids speak of Minhee and I...above all, they would say with integrity that their parents prayed for them and kept pointing them to Christ. On this Mother's Day, I want to take a few words to honor mother.

There’s a moment from a few years ago that will stick with me until the day I die. It’s regarding Sung Wha, my mother.

Minhee and I were at a point of transition, between working at an ethnic Korean church in the northern suburbs of Seattle called Lynnwood and launching Quest in urban Seattle. As I shared earlier, I was in desperate need of a job. I had a mortgage to pay. A pregnant wife. A kid at home. 
Then, praise God, after months without work, I finally landed a job.

My mom was in between jobs at this point in her life. She was in her late fifties, but she had such bad knees and degenerative hips that it was, and is, difficult for her to walk. My mom is like a human barometer—when a storm is coming and when it rains, her hips throb. Although my parents lived in San Francisco, she was visiting us in Seattle to encourage us in this difficult season.

As I prepared to go to work one early morning, I walked downstairs to put on my jacket and shoes, and forgot that my mother woke up early every morning to pray. In fact, she had been praying for months that I would find a job. “Eugene, where are you going?” she said when she saw me.

I hadn’t told my mother the news that I had just recently been hired for the janitorial gig at Barnes and Noble. I chose not to because I thought she and my father would be devastated. I didn’t want them to think that after laboring, sacrificing, and doing so much for us over all those years that their son had failed them.

But I couldn’t lie to her, so eventually I told my mom that I got a job and was going to work. “Great! What job? What are you doing?” “Um, I’m working at Barnes and Noble as their custodian,” I said finally.

Without asking another question, my mother got up from the dining table where she had been reading her Bible and praying. She slowly walked slowly toward me.

She approached me, then walked past me without saying a word, and I realized she was headed toward the closet. She opened the closet door, put on her jacket, turned around and said to me (in Korean), “Eugene, let’s go together. I will help you.” This is my mother.

my tweets

  • It's been years since Seattle Sonics "became" the OKC Thunder. Still stings. Seattle deserves a team before OKC gets a title. That is all. || 7 hours ago
  • That time when nearly everyone laughed at @KlayThompson when he said he was the best shooting guard in the NBA. || 7 hours ago
  • The best part of wanting to change the world...is being humbled, learning you're not the savior of the world & being changed in the process. || 19 hours ago
  • Cheer up Toronto & Canada. Great season. Also, you have free health care, toonies and your political candidates are not as crazy as America. || 1 day ago
  • Make friendships more than transactions. There's a huge difference between "I appreciate you" and "I appreciate what you can do for me." || 1 day ago
  • There's much to ponder in this article. Much to repent. Much to grieve. "Seattle's vanishing black community." - seattletimes.com/pacific-nw-mag… || 2 days ago

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