Russ Perreault, owner of He-Brews Specialty Coffee in Coral Springs, has unleashed a passion for Christ, and his leaps of faith energize you in a way that no mere jolt of espresso can do. Though not a church, this café does feel Spirit-filled while infusing a welcoming, hip vibe: a perfect blend. (Yep, coffee-related puns along the way. You’ve bean forewarned.)
Walking into the newly opened coffeehouse, you may feel it’s a bit bare with its warehouse/industrial décor and open space. You definitely would not think anything churchy would be happening here. But in looking closer, there is a great attention to detail and a sense of warmth in the place. Refreshing the soul is Christian music in the background. Unashamedly Christian, Russ uses the café as a platform for his vision of “Creating commUNITY” to unify the body of Christ and unify believers and non-believers alike. He lists ‘prayer’ on the menu — free, of course. Their slogan: “We don’t serve lukewarm” is an appropriate message straight from Revelation 3:15-16. And be sure to notice the personal, handwritten chalkboard message on your mug. I didn’t realize it until my second cup of mocha. (No judgment please. Did I mention how smooth the coffee is? De-li-cious!) And, to my surprise, Brittany, one of the baristas that day, came by with some ultra cold water for me. Perfect gesture and refreshment. And yes, they actually have “The Living Water” available with John 4:14 inscribed on the label. On weekends these bottles of water are taken to the beach and used as a ministry tools.
Not your average cup of Joe (or tea)
Nothing is wasted at He-Brews Specialty Coffee; everything is part of a missions or outreach program. He-Brews works in conjunction with HOPE Coffee and Compassion Tea. Both are international non-profit organizations; 100% of their profits are used to spread the gospel and for community development projects. HOPE Coffee is based out of Honduras and Compassion Tea out of Africa. Learn more about these missions through the He-Brews website: he-brewscoffeecs.com.
Perhaps the most compelling element of He-Brews Coffee’s legacy is Russ’s own personal testimony and the leap of faith that brought him to this point.
Russ, now 37, will tell you that though raised Catholic in Long Island, NY, he spent the majority of his life as an atheist. Strangely enough, during this time he met his future wife, Karina Valdez, a Christian from Honduras. It wasn’t until just 13 years ago that Russ turned his life over to Jesus Christ and nothing has been the same since.
He and Karina now have a six-year-old daughter, Milana Vitalia, and have been involved with numerous charities both locally and internationally. He believes in marketplace ministry and has been incorporating that model into his other businesses: Lean Lifestyle Fitness gym and Freehold Capital Investments real estate firm. And though he was leading the Christian life, the Lord reminded him that he was called to be a full-time minister and his business was his platform to minister.
You know it’s a calling from God when it’s something beyond your own expectations or comfort zone. Russ will tell you himself that opening a coffeehouse was not his (eh) cup of tea. So what gives?
In a relentless pursuit of the Lord’s purpose for his life, Russ and Karina fasted and prayed for the answers. When it became clear that, in fact, their future was to be marketplace ministers via a Christian coffeehouse, Russ made that critical plunge into unknown territory. Russ is a living testimony that each of us is created for God’s purpose and when we submit to his will and our desires align with His, we’ll know this is our mission in life.
The early church model
Of course, He-Brews Specialty Coffee is more than just a coffeehouse. Its main purpose is to unite the Christian community in one Spirit, as was the case with the early church. This is done through fellowship, prayer and taking the gospel out into the world. I invite you to check it out and commune with others.
He-Brews facilitates monthly missions, hosts Friday night live music and is open for group events. Open Monday – Saturday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Check listings for after-hour events including live worship music, spoken word, Bible studies and more.
He-Brews is located at 921 N. University Dr., Coral Springs. Visit he-brewscoffeecs.com, Instagram:@HeBrews_Specialty_Coffee, Facebook: @He-BrewsSpecialtyCoffee.
Christine Alexander is a freelance writer and coffee drinker at He-Brews Specialty Coffee. Contact her at [email protected].