the well coffee house : before + after

Hello to all our favorite people! We simply couldn’t be more excited about this little update today. If you’ve been reading for a while, then you probably know that our very favorite thing, besides design, design with a purpose.

First and foremost, please read this post before you go any further. It’s a little bit of a backstory to this wonderful little coffee house with the amazing people who are involved. (One of them being my little brother.) We are in love with their backstory…their future story…and all of the people they’re helping. So take a moment and catch up-we’ll still be here when you get back!

Okay did you read it? Because it’s worth it. For those of you who need a little jog of the memory, The Well, located in Nashville, Tn. is a nonprofit organization.

Since that post, they’ve officially opened. I was able to venture over to the Green Hills area during our last trip to Nashville, to shoot The Well after closing time. It was quite the treat to see it all in person. I have to say, I am in awe of what these guys have accomplished.

You may remember some of their before shots, where they took on the challenge of converting an old abandoned Burger King into a one of a kind coffee house. Well, enjoy this one today, because with handmade elements, barn wood, coffee bags, paint, a little elbow grease + a whole lot of passion….they transformed this:

Into this.

Are your jaws dropping yet? They tore down an old barn, and repurposed most of it’s wood and roof in the transformation process. From planks and metal on the walls, to coffee bags (that their actual coffee is shipped in) to reupholster old sofas and chairs…(I officially want one in my home) they gave this old place a wonderful, one of a kind vibe.

And how does their coffee stack up? While I was there, being a coffee junkie that I am, I totally ordered one of my regulars from the big box coffee stores. I am (naturally) biased, because my brother is a part of this gig. But I’m also a huge coffee snob. When the Barista whipped up my grande white chocolate mocha (my all time fave) I had already decided that even if it tasted funky, I would smile politely and sip away. Y’all. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was easily the best white chocolate mocha this gal has ever put to her taste buds.

It was so good, I’m seriously bummed I don’t live near The Well, and would probably make a drive by, daily. In my pajamas. With bed head. And all three kids in the car.

From God-steered dreams, to reality is the entire process, but I love that they brought in a community aspect as well, with The Wishing Well. A place where local needs are posted, and met for people locally.

Their barn doors {which add a ton of personality!} can either open, or close for private meetings and parties.

They built these doors, and even had someone weld their (usually over the top, pricey) hardware. And were spared major cost with a great impact. {Genius!}

They’re in the process of bringing in even more graphic elements to tell their story. But I love this one.

In addition to wonderful coffee, they curate many other non profit wares as well. From leather and fabric bags, to wallets, jewelry and scarves, I could purchase one of each, I love them so. The funds for these are returned in a variety of ways to help former victims of sex trafficking, and other serious, present day oppressions. Don’t live nearby, but would still like to order something from The Well to help their cause? It won’t be hard to find something you love, here. Stay tuned. They’re adding more, often.

Since they’ve opened, I was able to get a little update from another co-founder, Rob Touchstone. Here’s what he had to say:

The Journey Begins….

Our first month and half of being open has been amazing! We have been pleasantly overwhelmed by opportunity. Our amount of customers have exceed all expectations.  We originally thought that we’d “ease into things” by opening in the middle of the summer. With it being one of the hottest summers on record and college students being out of town on summer break, we expected to use July and August to slowly ramp up into a “busy” September. Little did we know that there would be no such “easing in” but instead we came off the starting blocks into a full fledged sprint!  

The day we opened was one we will never forget. It was Wednesday, July 11. We’d been up really late the night before making last minute preparations in order to officially open the doors at 6am. We had no idea if people would show up! I groggily pulled into the parking lot around 5:30am and a few minutes later our first customers started lining up ready to come in! From that moment forward the floodgates were opened. I stood by the entrance nearly all day greeting every person that walked through the door. I’ve rarely been as proud in all of my life. Not proud in a prideful way but proud to participate in something that I knew God had so clearly orchestrated. Two nights later the floodgates were thrown completely open as we had a more official “grand opening” by hosting a Block Party for Blood:Water Mission. It was glorious. The inside of The Well was so filled with people that it was shoulder to shoulder for about 3 straight hours on Friday evening.  At the end of the day we had run 369 total transactions and had sold more coffee and merchandise than our first month’s rent. In the month and half following we have been featured or highlighted on all of the local news stations, the Tennessean, Nashville Lifestyle magazine (Sept issue), Lipscomb Lumination, Nashville Business Journal, the Nashville Scene, and countless blogs. We’ve also hosted a Block Party for Exile International and are planning a benefit concert for International Justice Mission in September. 

Coffee has only been a part of the story. We’ve sold thousands of dollars in merchandise.  People have been passionately drawn to our bags, scarves, bracelets, journals and so many other products which are made by people on the streets of Honduras, Ethiopia, Uganda, and India. Customers love seeing the name and picture of the very person they are supporting when they buy these products.  

In our first month, The Well also sponsored our first project by buying a much needed washing machine for a very poor infirmary in Morant Bay, Jamaica.  This infirmary is essentially a nursing home for very poor people who spend their days and nights in beds lining a long hallway in a building that must be over 100 years old.  This gift got the attention of the entire island as media outlets got wind of it! Councilmen and dignitaries showed up at the presentation of the washing machine and the workers of the infirmary received it with tears of joy.  

Finally, we’ve been so excited to become a sought after music venue. We are receiving requests left and right for local artists to come and play at The Well! Word on the street is that we are becoming “The Blue Bird of Christian Music” and that “everyone” wants to come and play here.  It’s a good thing we’re getting a full speaker system installed this week as we become a featured music venue!

The journey has been amazing and we’re only just beginning.  Who knows what will happen as “coffee weather” approaches and college students flood back into town for the Fall semester.  And did we mention we haven’t even opened our drive-thru yet?  God is filling The Well.  And we’re blessed to overflow into the lives of our community and world!

What sets The Well apart from all the other coffee shops? I think you probably just read all about it. But pure and simple, they have heart. And lots of it.

From their carefully planned location, to their process of a transformation… their curated, non-profit wares and wonderful feeling of communion in the idea of a simple cup of coffee bringing blessings to others…

The Well has a clear purpose. And it’s shining through. In a very bright way.

To stay up to date with The Well, be sure to check out their website, and join them on Facebook, here.

This story seriously warms our hearts. Hope you enjoyed the eye candy with a purpose.  Have an inspired day, everyone!


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42 Responses to the well coffee house : before + after

  1. April says:

    Thanks for showing all the pictures and their story. I read the first part of the story back when you first posted and could not wait to hear more about it. I currently live about an hour to hour and half drive from Nashville. I will definitely have to check it out and support them whenever I am in town. I don’t normally go to the Green Hills ares but I wll make a point to. I pray they continue to receive such outstanding support.

  2. Sara Beth says:

    I am all crying now, what a beautiful and inspiring story! Also, what a lovely makeover! Forsure, people weeping what they sew :)

  3. lindsey b. says:

    oh mercy, i want that mustard velvet chair baaaaadly :) love all the little details- & i love coffee with a godly mission even more! reminds me of our favorite local place, jubala village coffee in raleigh nc. they do similar things with their coffee sourcing & profits. your photos of the well are gorgeous! well done them!

  4. Jenna Joy says:

    They did a beautiful job with it all. I will have to tell my friends to check it out. Respect their neat cause. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. What an incredible place!

  6. How beautiful! The space just as much as the mission. What a fantastic organization- thank you for sharing!

  7. Charron says:

    Thank you so much for reminding us that the true beauty is in the heart! The Well is a great story, and I hope some day to be able to do something locally here in TX! Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

  8. Laura C says:

    Thank you for featuring us!! I was going to eventually take “final photos” but I’ll just share yours now instead :)

  9. Rachel says:

    Love the follow up on The Well!! I live in Nashville & this is going to be our next “girl’s night out” spot after dinner & movie dates while our hubbies keep the kiddos! :) (sounds fair for Saturday guy’s golf outings, right?!) ;)

    Thrilled they are having a great customer turn out thus far! And wow – amazing story & mission behind The Well!!

  10. Rebecca says:

    This is awesome on all levels. I have pinned this, emailed my friends who have emailed their relatives that live near or in Nashville…I love this!!!

  11. Kim says:

    Beautiful! Goes to show there are people out there who can make a difference with a simple idea!! Good luck and continued success to them!!

  12. Tonya says:

    What an amazing transformation not only in the space, but the lives they are desiring to touch. May God continue to pour out His amazing blessing on The Well.

  13. Wendy says:

    Absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this story. Unfortunately I live many states away, but if we are anywhere near there I will definitely be stopping in. I did see that we can shop online to support them. Hmmmmmmmmm……………………

  14. Melanie says:

    AMAZING. LOVE. TEARS. BEAUTIFUL. FAITHFUL.

    God is so good!

  15. Jackie says:

    This is so incredibly inspiring! My soul rises to meet every aspect of this project. The vision, the mission, the design, the community connection and support of those in need around the world–just amazing! Have they considered partnering with people in other cities to open more Wells? I’m quite sure Athens, GA could use one!

  16. I absolutely love all the barn wood they used!! I’ve heard so many people around here in Nashville talk about it recently. So glad they are doing well.

    Still need to venture out that way and try it out :)

  17. Thank you so much for featuring us and thanks to all of you for your encouraging comments! These words truly mean so much to us. To know that our story impacts your lives in some way brings such overwhelming joy. I wish we could meet each of you in person to share our gratitude for your support. Please stop by and say hello next time you’re here! – Rob (The Well Coffeehouse)

  18. Gloria says:

    I live just north of Nashville and am headed into town to go to Trader Joe’s and Costco tonight. Guess where else I’ll be stopping for a treat on my way home? Thanks for the introduction! The makeover is perfect.

  19. shawn says:

    love this! simply beautiful & not just the “re-do”….

  20. So, so beautiful in all respects. The space is seriously jaw-droppingly gorgeous, but the way those folks have heeded and enthusiastically followed God’s calling is really, really inspiring and precious. Thank the Lord for using regular people to do such wonderful things!

  21. Tennille says:

    Ashley, this is fabulous! I absolutely love what your brother and friends are doing and doing it in style to boot. The new store looks amazing and has such a fun, earthy, give back kind of vibe. I love that they have found a very practical and profitable way to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I think it’s neat that Jesus’ first miracle was to turn water into wine and they are turning coffee into water. I think how we reach people with the gospel of Christ is changing as is the face of the church. It so cool to see a group of people using what they have and what they love to touch a community that needs to see the love of God in a real and tangible way. Yay for The Well!!

  22. Such a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing the beautiful pics as well.

  23. michele says:

    i LOVE this. good for them, and i wish them (and by “them,” i mean them and those they help) much success. you might be interested in another small business doing something similar. my cousin in an artist in indiana, and 20% of his earnings are sent to africa to dig wells and bring clean water to the villages. http://www.mudlove.com/ he’s been doing this for five or six years now, and every year gets better and better. the support is amazing, and what he’s able to do for the people in africa whom he and his customers help is priceless.

  24. This post gave me chills. Love the well picture and the little boy. What a beautiful inspiration and what a ridiculous amazing place to hang out and have a COFFEE! OMG, can they come to Boston? :)

  25. Milli says:

    I LOVE this place and their mission. I’m a Nashvillian who loves a non-Starbucks coffee shop and The Well is so much more than just a non-chain coffee place. Buying coffee at The Well makes my heart happy and I love knowing that the profit of my purchase is going to make this world a better place. My husband and I went the first weekend they were open and absolutely loved it. Thanks for giving more information and showing all the beauty in the design, as well as the mission.

  26. Lorraine R. says:

    What an incredible journey!!!!!! I love it – the Well is a gorgeous place!!! Wish I lived in Nashville!!!

  27. Katherine says:

    The transformation of the building alone is incredible, but then to hear what they are doing and why… that is truly amazing. I wish them lots of luck.

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  30. Jennifer says:

    beautiful, in absolutely every way. tears!

  31. Lauren says:

    Dear heavens!! My friend in Nebraska sent me your post here about The Well, and I live only 10 minutes away!! I’ve heard (from husband who works in Green Hills) about the wonders of getting a personal cup of coffee made any way you want it. One cup of coffee, made in a French press, just for me?!? I would sell an appendage for that, and the seasonal menu looks just divine. Love what your brother and his friends are doing, it’s like the heart of Intelligentsia (from my hometown Chicago) with the generosity of Ten Thousand Villages (very near The Well) all wrapped up in the spirit of faith. God bless their good work!!

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  33. I love that place. I went there based on a google search. It was in a great experience. I loved the taste of their coffee and the atmosphere. I even wrote about it on my blog. I would love for you to read it. Thanks! http://wp.me/p2yZnB-6I

  34. Jenn R says:

    This space is so beautiful! I definitely am adding this to my places to visit! Thanks so much for sharing this!

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  36. I am totally not trying to be a creepy blog stalker…I have already left one comment today about Jim Brinkerhoff. And, I hesitate to leave the 2nd comment! But, as I was looking around your blog more, I found this post about The Well. And, actually, Rob Touchstone and my husband (David Skidmore) are friends. Rob is now working at Otter Creek where David Rubio (our families dearest friends in the world) is the youth minister. What a small world! Melissa

  37. That is amazing, I love it so much!!