This one of a kind internet coffee shop on Cedar Avenue in Flagstaff, AZ has combined a few businesses into one where profits go back into serving the community in one form or another. Monies end up supporting community agencies like the Family Food Bank, Hope Cottage and Spring Fest – a Covenant Church hosted event that recently served 800 community members fried chicken, pie and a variety of salads and sides. Their in-house boutique sells dishes, mugs, scarves, purses, t-shirts, journals and notepads. Jewelry and hand-painted signs are also displayed by local artisans, as well as notecards and carved signs by Fifth Wind students of Indian Bible College. Cedar House Coffee comes from Flagstaff’s own coffee roasters, It’s About Coffee while the tea they serve comes from Compassion Tea where 100% of the profits provide healthcare for needy communities.
Emily Merrill, the general manager, shares how since 16 years old she has always wanted to run a restaurant of her own. When asked by her senior pastor of Covenant Church, Mike Hayes, to manage the church owned Cedar House Coffee Shop, she could not turn it down realizing this was a step in the right direction. Emily grew up in Phoenix, AZ while coming to Flagstaff to enjoy the summers at her grandparents’ cabin. Little did she know that she would live here someday with her husband, Landon, who became the assistant pastor of Flagstaff Covenant Church.
Cedar House officially opened for business on October 1, 2013 after having served the community free coffee for the month of September. Since this time, they have continued to serve the community with a twice a month “Coffee and Canvas” night on Saturday and Thursday nights where you can paint and drink coffee. “Best of Fall” is also a Cedar House sponsored event where the shop serves cranberry caramel apple cider and hot chocolate along with offering games and a hay ride for the local Sunny side residents.
If these things weren’t enough, February 1, 2016, the transformed back room of Cedar House Coffee Shop opened for business as The Speckled Pot, a tea room where fresh clotted cream, scones, fresh fruit and a compassion pot of tea is served. Hours will be expanding to Saturday or Sunday for a brunch tea, but for now The Speckled Pot is by reservation only on Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. for you and your friends to enjoy. This room can also be rented for parties, birthdays, bridal and baby showers, small weddings or other special occasions.
Last but not least, a large 1920’s antique carousel horse is positioned over the middle island of the coffee shop displaying vintage candy and other food items. This food island has been named the ‘Ponderosa Market’ commemorating the store’s historic name. In 1955, the Fanning sisters, from which the street derives its name, opened ‘The Ponderosa Market’ in the present day Cedar House Coffee Shop. On various occasions, a few older customers have nostalgically recalled to Emily how they used to buy candy bars for a nickel in that very same room. Some would also comment on the few remaining red paint stains on the floor reminding them of concrete they had walked on in their childhood.
Whether it’s to sip flavorful coffee reminiscing about days gone by or to enjoy a cup of Compassion Tea or browse the Boutique and Ponderosa Market, Cedar House Coffee Shop is a unique experience you won’t want to miss. Go by soon and don’t forget to bring a friend.
Remember that Team Tait sent you!
by Leslie Crawley, Assistant to Jacki Tait