Thr3e coffee shop, owned and ran by the Emmanuel Lutheran Church will be coming up on its four year anniversary this November.
Shop manager, Amy Carlson, has been a member of Emmanual Lutheran Church for most of her life and has been working at Thr3e for a couple of years. She knows what the coffee shop was intended to do for the community.
“Emmanuel Lutheran Church wanted to start Thr3e as a third place for people to hang out. The church owned the building previously and we used it for our youth area and then we turned it into a coffee shop. It is a non-profit ministry extension of our church. We just wanted to give people another place to meet,” Carlson said. “We named it after the [Holy Trinity], the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
In addition to being a hang out spot, Thr3e provides students with volunteer opportunities for community service hours being a barista.
“We have high school volunteers to get community service hours, so they work before school or after school for a couple of hours twice a week; we have some adult volunteers that like to help out. We have three paid employees, an assistant manager, one barista and me,” Carlson said.
Being across the street from the high school, Thr3e’s primary revenue is generated from the students. Carlson says that is it less about the profit they make and more about the relationships they build with the students.
“We love PHS and we love having the business and the fun times meeting the high school students and getting to know them. Since I am here almost every day, I get to see people and get to know the students and it is a lot of fun. We try and make relationships instead of just make money,” Carlson said. “I think it is a cool safe place for high school students to come to and be encouraged. We try and be a positive place for people to hang out. We are also available really cheap for events which makes it a good place for people in the community to come together and hold events or parties.”
Community member Bill Bowers believes that Thr3e has a great influence on the students at PHS and that the facility has upheld its original intent.
“It has definitely had a positive impact on the school, as far as giving kids a place to come before and after school, which was one of the goals when they opened it. It was to be an outreach to the school and provide a place for kids to come and hang out,” Bowers said.
Bowers spends a lot of time in the small coffee shop, whether it is to hold meetings with people involved in his non-profit organization or volunteering behind the counter, Thr3e is an important aspect in his life.
“I go to Emmanuel Lutheran as a member; I come into Thr3e to hold meetings for my business. I also volunteer here a couple mornings a week,” Bowers said. “I utilize the facility in the evenings a lot, I [teach] a class here, we use it for young adult events, we use Thr3e maybe three or four times a month for different events.”
Having a coffee shop has significantly impacted students and their time in high school. Senior Korey Dawson is grateful for the shop.
“[School would be] a lot harder without Thr3e,” Dawson said. “I would be so tired everyday if it was not for the caffeine.”