Carrie Rengers

Mead's Corner forced to close its coffeehouse ministry

Mead's Corner has been a downtown presence for a decade, but it will close after business on July 28.
Mead's Corner has been a downtown presence for a decade, but it will close after business on July 28. Courtesy photo

A decade after Mead's Corner opened to offer coffee and community to downtown Wichita, the ministry that First United Methodist Church started is ending.

"Everybody's really sad about this and heartbroken," says Cindy Watson, senior pastor.

Watson says there was a "significant increase" in rent.

"After long consideration and conversation, we decided not to renew the lease at the end of August," she says.

The last day in business will be July 28.

On July 29, a Sunday, there will be a celebration of the ministry.

"I know that lives have really been changed and transformed by our presence," Watson says.

Mead's, which is at the northwest corner of Douglas and Emporia, is a fair trade coffeehouse that has donated its thousands of dollars in tips through the years to charitable causes.

Watson says countless nonprofits, churches and groups have met there and even started there.

"Three churches have met in there and begun," she says.

ICT SOS started there and even had an office upstairs for a time.

"It was never just a business," Watson says.

There is a chance Mead's could reopen in another spot. Nothing has been decided one way or the other, Watson says.

For now, she says she has to focus on closing Mead's and pastoring her disappointed baristas and congregants.

"I mean, we're grieving it."

Many of us reach for that morning cup of coffee without giving much thought to how it might benefit us –other than getting us out of bed. (Meta Viers/McClatchy and Cleveland Clinic)

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com.
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