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Meet Kevin!

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Hey Everyone! Meet Kevin! He’s been with Purple Door Coffee for just over 3 months now! We love knowing Kevin and want you to know him too! 14688_911389275584568_6769245529734251521_n


Name: Kevin
Birthday: May 17th

Where are you from?

Why did you decide to work at Purple Door?
I decided I was tired of not bettering my position. I wanted to heal.

What is a dream you have for your life?
I want to own and manage a giant-super garden that produces food and medicinal herbs.

What has been the most fun about working at Purple Door?
Learning from Phil at Corvus about tasting coffee.

What is something you’re good at on the job?
I love making pour-overs and I am good at it.

What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?
This is hard! It is a toss-up between Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and X-Men.

What is your favorite coffee drink?
Espresso straight up!

What is your favorite color?
Purple and not just because I have been working here.

If you could visit anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
I would go to either the Redwood Forest or the 100 Dere Wood because of the spiritual connection and the sacredness of the natural.

If you could have any super power what would it be?
I would like ones just like the Scarlet Witch

Meet Joe!

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We want to introduce you to Joe! A lot of you have already met him since he’s been working for us for 6 months. He’s been such a great addition to the Purple Door team, and we are so thankful for him!


Name: Joe
Birthday: May 9th

Where are you from?

Why did you decide to work at Purple Door?
-I wanted to actually do something with my life.

What is a dream you have for your life?
-To move somewhere where there are less people and I can
live off the land.

What has been the most fun about working at Purple Door?
-Bugging my bosses and giving them a hard time!

What is something you’re good at on the job?
-Working hard, keeping busy

What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?
-Roger Rabbit!

What is your favorite food?
-Smothered burritos with homemade green chili

What is your favorite coffee drink?
-8oz caramel latte – hands down.

If you could visit anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Reflections After the Break-in.

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Since I’ve had time to reflect on the break in at Purple Door I’ve unpacked it a little more. This post of Facebook is still my heart and response to the situation. Here is what we shared:

While the recent break-in is unfortunate and frustrating, this does not change how we feel about our neighborhood or any individual in the neighborhood. We love Five Points and the surrounding area. The break-in was an individual or group of individuals that still have incredible worth and value. We are saddened that they feel a need to do such things, but this does not change the fact that we care about them. We are also so thankful for the way the neighborhood has supported us up to the break-in and since the break-in. We will continue being who we are and doing what we do! Thank you so much for supporting us!

This is certainly how we still feel, but there is also more to it.

When Purple Door was broken into I thought about how fragile a thing it is. The Coffee shop could burn to the ground, we could be completely vandalized, or we could simply fail as a business from a financial perspective. So, what does that mean for us? What is actually the importance of this thing called Purple Door, and what would that mean for me as an individual if Purple Door Coffee were to simply cease to be? What I have come to realize over this past year is that Purple Door is the vehicle that we are driving at the time. It isn’t the point. It’s not the destination. Purple Door allows us to do what we believe we are supposed to do. Our value in our mission, the value of each employee or each customer and my own value are never in question, even if Purple Door Coffee were to fail. The Kingdom of God is bigger than any single organization, group of people or individual. Purple Door Coffee fits into the Kingdom of God, but it is not the Kingdom itself. And so if Purple Door ceases to be, or if it shifts in how it functions, as long as we are true to what God has for this world, we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. And so, things like a break-in are seemingly insignificant. They create opportunities for us to be who we say we are. It’s easy to proclaim the value and worth of people when times are good and when everyone is treating you well. It’s a different story when people are doing things that impact you in a negative way. We must continue to proclaim the value and worth of those that are against us, otherwise we will cease to hope for their future, and if we see cease to hope for anyone’s future, we no longer proclaim what God has for this world. And that is the only way we can truly fail.

And so when we function out of this truth–we cannot fail until we cease to be faithful to the life God has called us to–we are free to do that using whatever vehicle we choose, and if said vehicle breaks down, gets in a wreck, is stolen, it doesn’t change who we are or who we are called to be.

That said, we hope to have Purple Door Coffee be here for a very very long time, with other opportunities growing from it.

Meet Kaylee!

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We want to introduce you to Kaylee, our newest employee! She’s been a great addition to the Purple Door team, and we are so excited to have her working with us!

photo-3Name: Kaylee
Birthday: October 6th

Where are you from?
I was born in Colorado Springs and have lived in Denver for 6 years.
Why did you decide to work at Purple Door? I needed a job but my schedule could not accommodate one and I knew Mads and Mark could be flexible

What is a dream you have for your life?
I dream to be a self-sufficient, well-established wife and mother with the ability to be happy within myself and my life.

What has been the most fun about working at Purple Door?
The experiences that have been shared between myself and the staff.

What is something you’re good at on the job?
I’m good at demonstrating  work effectively, and providing a positive, enjoyable experience with the customers.

What was you favorite cartoon as a kid?
Anamaniacs and Tom & Jerry

What is your favorite food?
Chicken Fettucini Alfredo with Asparagus

What is your favorite coffee drink?
Iced Vanilla Latte

If you could visit anywhere in the world where would you go and why? I would go to Europe to see all the Renaissance art and experience the difference in cultures.




Come say hi to Kaylee! She’ll gladly take your order, and probably make you laugh as well!

People over Tasks. Relationship over Responsibilities.

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Madison and I have been stretched fairly thin this past year. We are two very different people, but one of our key commonalities is that we are kind of perfectionists. Because of how difficult and complicated running a business that happens to be a job-training program is, we have felt that we are in perpetual need of sacrificing quality on this thing or that, or leaving something not done to our standards. This has been draining. Most days I leave thinking I could have done more, or done something better, and my mind is focused on all the tasks that are yet to be done, or the the things that I didn’t do as well as I would have liked. This is a tiring, unsustainable way to live. So I’ve been working on it, by shifting my focus from what is undone to what is done. I have also made (or am trying to make) an incredibly important shift from thinking about tasks and responsibilities to people and relationships.

Robert Lupton in his book Theirs is the Kingdom has an excellent quote concerning this:

The fundamental building blocks of the Kingdom are relationships. Not programs, systems, or productivity. But inconvenient, time-consuming, intrusive relationships. The Kingdom is built on personal involvements that disrupt schedules and drain energy. When I enter into redemptive relationships with other, I lose much of my (efficiency) ‘capacity to produce desired results with a minimum expenditure of energy, time, money, or materials.’ In short, relationsips sabotage my efficiency… I know I am called to love people, and, in a special sense, poor people. Since it is impossible to schedule their calamities, I must remain open to their interruptions. The seductive appeal of order would draw me away from my call. God’s peace much be learned in the midst of disturbance. Disruptions are his reminders that people are more important than programs and that the ordering of my life is His business.

So, my idol of efficiency and achievement is daily being sacrificed. I am constantly striving to see the humans behind the tasks. Go has given us this task of running this beautiful thing called Purple Door Coffee, and there certainly are tasks and responsibilities to be taken care of, but more importantly there are people to be taken care of. The tasks must support the people. Tasks and projects are not the point. I have to daily remind myself of this.

Christ did not come to help us have more “good” tasks and responsibilities. Christ came to love, redeem and set us free. It is our “task” as his followers to help others know that love, redemption and freedom. If we can focus on that, I think our other tasks become much less stressful and draining. But that is the challenge–to stay focused on the love, redemption and freedom. When we can focus on Christ and what he offers, life can be so much more full!

Meet Jenna!

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We wanted to introduce our other new employee to you! Jenna started working for us a month ago, and we are so have to have her working behind the bar with us! She is a fast learner that is very personable and helpful!

photo 1-2

Where are you from? Denver, Colorado

When is your birthday? September 19th

Why did you decide to work at Purple Door?
I’ve been dealing with homelessness on and off since I was 16 years old. Running on the little amount of faith I had, I applied to Purple Door to work towards my goal of self-sufficiency and to keep myself from returning to the street life.

What is a dream you have for your life?
I plan to on day open up my own coffee shop. I start business school August 2014

What’s been the most fun about working at Purple Door?
Learning everything, helping customers, and being productive.

What’s been the most difficult about working at Purple Door?
Being Quiet. I am a very loud person and I have a hard time keeping the volume of my voice down.

What’s something you’re good at?
I am good at singing and helping others.

What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?

Where in the world would you most like to visit?
Ireland, to better understand my heritage.

What’s your favorite movie?

What’s your favorite food?

What’s your favorite coffee drink?
Caramel Mocha



Come down to the shop and meet Jenna! We love having her here, and she has a very bright future ahead of her!

Meet Marcus!

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Today we wanted to highlight one of our new employees, and we hope to do this as we move forward!

Meet Marcus! Marcus started working for us a little over 2 weeks ago!


When is your birthday?
 April 3rd

What were your favorite cartoons as a kid?
Pinky and The Brain, Rocket Power, Sonic

Where in the world would you most like to visit?
Tokyo, I love the sights. It looks amazing to visit.

What’s your favorite food?
Pizza and Chinese

What is something you’re good at?
Art, Music, and learning new things quickly.

What are some dreams you have for your life?
Become a better man.
Have my own clothing line, bring the old school hip-hop flavor back.
Provide something better for my daughter, and show her the best things in life.

Why did you decide to work at Purple Door?
It’s a good opportunity, and to better my life as a man.

What’s been the most fun about working at Purple Door?
Employees and people I meet and interact with.
Learning how to make coffee and learning where it comes from.

What’s your favorite coffee drink?
Mocha with vanilla. Mmm mmm mmm.

Other thoughts:
Purple door is wonderful and gave me a shot to work in a place I never thought I would ever see myself in. Warming and calm, a place I call relaxation and peace. It is a place for improvement and visions. A place that makes me feel home and family.


We love having Marcus on the team! Come meet him at the shop, and be looking for a post about Jenna as well!

On Being a Bad Boss

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Hello. My name is Madison Chandler. I am a 25 year old single female living in the beautiful state of Colorado. Through a seriously miraculous series of events happening over the span of 3 years (probably even longer, really), I have found myself working at a super stellar coffee shop in Denver that was created to employ teens and young adults who have been homeless.

It’s an awesome ‘job’. It’s a hard ‘job’.

One of the biggest struggles is this: my pain and my flaws directly affect my coworkers and employees. When I am stressed, they stand in the direct path of my stress; when I am tired, they receive my annoying stares and barely-listening ears; when I am facing the shadow of who I thought I’d be, they are the ones squished below my feet in effort to preserve a false sense of power.

It’s a hard thing to watch your flaws hurt others.

When you dream about something like Purple Door Coffee for years (click HERE to watch the video if you don’t know what PDC is), you imagine all of the moments when your wisdom and love will bring positivity and change into someone’s life, you don’t imagine the moments when you really blew it and hurt and/or pushed someone backwards in their journey.

But, the reality is this: in the 9 months that Purple Door Coffee has been around, I know that I have hurt all 5 of the people who have worked here.

You want to know what else I know? I know that they have all forgiven me. They continue to love me and support me and listen to me. They continue to work with me and laugh with me and ask me questions about my day-to-day life and who I have a crush on and other silly things.

Their forgiveness and continued love through my shortcomings has been transformative.

This all reinforces what some of my close pals told me long ago — Life Is A Dance. In this particular scenario, it is a dance of forgiveness. I need forgiveness as much as the girl who spent 6 years in prison or the guy who sold meth to your kids or the lady who is an annoying know-it-all or the man who loses his temper way too quickly.

As we dance, we move towards and around each other in forgiveness. We surround each other with forgiveness, with love–with the love of Christ.

Thank you Mike, Charla, Guyia, Mark and Ali for forgiving me.

Thank you Father for using me though I am so flawed.

Thank you Jesus for teaching gentleness.

Thank you Spirit for your strength, made perfect in weakness.

The Community of Purple Door

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Purple Door Coffee is a community. A group of people centered around a cause, a mission.

Without the community Purple Door would be nothing. We would never have had the funding we needed to get going; we wouldn’t have a customer base; we wouldn’t have individuals giving us advice on the coffee program, job training, theological framework, and anything else we need advice on. We would simply be a coffee shop struggling to get by.

We would not be who we are without you.

As we continue to gather around this thing called Purple Door, we want to really articulate who we are as a community.

  1. We are about embracing and communicating dignity. We believe that every person has unsurpassable worth and value as made clear by the person of Jesus Christ.
    From that we believe all people have the capacity and need to contribute using what they have. Purple Door is a community of dignity, worth and mutual contribution.
  2. We are about equipping and teaching skills. We believe that so frequently people are unable to be the best version of themselves because no one has walked with them, and helped them become that. We believe that each person can contribute, can learn, can be more, and so together we strive to help one another be that best version of self.
  3. We are about doing things well. We want to call people to be their best, have standards and expectations. This is because of our belief that all people can offer something, and that they deserve to be the best version of self. And that’s what we ask, that everyone involved be the best version of self that they can be at that time. With Purple Door we do this because of our faith, and so we must put forth our best effort out of our love for God. There are days when we won’t be our best. The vision and goal of Purple Door is that the community will surround one another when we are not at our best, and when we are we will surround those that are struggling. Each of us can and will be givers and recipients of that support.

Thank you for being a part of the Purple Door Community in 2013 and helping make it such a beautiful year. Thank you for buying into the mission and vision of Purple Door.

We are excited to continue to be a community of love, acceptance, dignity, equipping and quality.

Seeing the Hurt.

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Driving around Denver I tend to notice places of hurt. I see drug deals happen in parks. I notice the intoxicated man lying in the grass. I notice the tired mom, wrangling four kids as they wait for the bus, because they have no transportation of their own. I see a world that has more hurt than one can sort through. That’s part of the burden of working with populations on the edges–you start to see how prolific and populated the edges are.

How do you engage that much hurt? How do you love well in the middle of it? How do you unsee some of it?

First, I don’t know. I don’t know how you can engage all the hurt that is present. It’s dizzying to think about all the hurt that demands a response. Why does this injustice exist? Why is that hurt perpetuated? It’s impossible to know what to do with it all.

Second, I think the only way we can ever love in the middle of it all is to simply start. Start loving in someway some how. Start a conversation. Share a smile. Begin getting personal with the hurt, because then the hurt becomes about people you know rather than about problems to be solved. That is much more energizing, humanizing, and beautiful. We have to trust that love will be at work for much longer than we can understand, doing more than we can do on our own. Love amplifies our efforts to something bigger than our own capacity. We have to trust that and lean into that hope.

Third, you don’t unsee the hurt. You can’t. Personally I wouldn’t want to even if I could. The seeing of hurt makes me appreciate healing. My recognition of the ugly allows me to recognize beauty all the more. And when I am able to see the hurt in me, and in the individuals I engage with, we can provide an avenue for healing through one another. Not that we provide the healing, but sometimes our own hurt prevents us from seeing Jesus, and we need someone else to point us there. As we seek to be like Jesus as we see the hurts of the world we must respond with compassion. Henri Nouwen says this about compassion: “Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.”

When we see the hurts of the world, we must immerse ourselves in the hurt, otherwise the hurt will overcome us. And thankfully, we have a Healer that can overcome any hurt.