This week’s Faces of the Northeast is Dan Smith, Founder of Eleos Coffeehouse on Independence Avenue. Dan moved to the Northeast eight years ago from Olathe, and says one of the most unique parts about the Northeast community is the level of diversity that cannot be found in other parts of the city. Dan and his wife opened Eleos Coffee with the vision of bringing a gathering place for community members. The coffee shop not only serves coffee, breakfast and lunch items, but it also hosts several community events and holds Bible study in the lower level of the building. Dan says his heart is to share the love of Jesus.
“We moved here to join the effort in seeing community transformation. We decided to open a business in this area that would be a good gathering spot for the community, but also give us opportunity to really have some opportunities for rubbing shoulders with people that were in difficult situations in life. I didn’t have any business background or coffee background, so it was a fun adventure, and a difficult transition for us into something completely new, but we quickly loved the Northeast because of the diversity of the area. I love the old architecture, and I really saw God doing a unique work in this area that we were going to be able to join. That was all very compelling to us to live here and work here. We started eight years ago, wanting it to be a spot where everyone was welcome and where we could interact with them abou what is going on in their life and if there was a need, we would try to come along side and help in practical ways for a lot of folks who are living on the street, they need simple things like their I.D., and also we wanted to be here as a friend, as the relational piece. There are a lot of resources in the Northeast, but sometimes it’s hard for people to navigate those resources or know where to start. Our role is to not only let people know about resources that exist, we also try to stay in touch with the individual to help them navigate that road. What we absolutely love to do is to remind people of God’s love for them. Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of that. We want to be that voice that says ‘you are loved,’ not only by us, but in a much more important way by God.”