MARYSVILLE — The Living Room Coffee House is settling into its new digs, right next to the Marysville Christian Church, but even as they continue to get their rooms squared away, their customers and volunteers have stuck with them.
One of those roughly 30 volunteers is Ed Hauff, and for him the Living Room is more than a pleasant place to get together with other folks in the community.
“I first walked in their doors a couple of months ago, back at their old location, and I never turned back,” Hauff said, as he helped stock shelves and get the kitchen in order. “I’d been using drugs for twenty-five years, and I’m still homeless, but these people have shown me so much love that I had to come back for that good feeling.”
Hauff credits the support of the Living Room with keeping him clean and sober for 115 days, and in turn he’s devoted “one-hundred percent of my life” to helping the coffee house succeed.
Kim Reynolds, who started the Living Room, noted that its volunteers range in age from 15 to 80.
“We weren’t actually planning on moving,” said Reynolds, who’d been preparing to renew her lease at the coffee house’s previous location, near the Safeway on State Avenue. “But one of the folks who wandered in for some coffee just happened to know that the church didn’t know what to do with this building.”
Reynolds recalled that conversation took place July 7, and by Aug. 7, they’d received keys to the new building. By Sept. 7, the Living Room was already hosting a luncheon by the WISE Women business group.
Reynolds estimated that the move gained the Living Room roughly 1,500 square feet of floor space, from less than 5,000 to more than 6,000, while also trimming their rent to one-fifth of what they’d been paying before.
Brandon Wilson, the general manager of the Living Room, explained that the coffee house’s new facilities have been undergoing inspections and fire alarm installations, all while a dozen volunteers a day help unpack and sort out their belongings. While he expects it should be mostly finished within a few weeks, he invited the community to attend its official grand opening Oct. 10.
“It’s not just a coffee shop, but a culture,” Wilson said. “Our goal is to cultivate a sense of community.”
Which is not to say that Reynolds won’t brag about the Living Room offering “the best coffee in town,” with direct trade sourced brands like Stumptown.
“Plus, a bigger space means more menu options,” said Reynolds, who touted the addition of soups, paninis, biscuits and gravy, and “sweet treats” made possible by an upgraded oven.
In addition to the kitchen and the “great room” meeting hall, which includes a stage for performances, the new Living Room will provide two rentable meeting rooms, plus an indoor-outdoor area for children to play with their parents. The outdoor portion will be safely fenced off, so that kids can’t wander off.
“Give this place a shot and you’ll love it,” Hauff said. “You won’t find anything like it anywhere else.”