Coffee with a Purpose

a55da5_663d7d92481f471d8603d0c65821ed57-mv2_d_3264_2448_s_4_2Sometimes you get more than just a cup of coffee.

Prodigy Coffee House is one of Denver’s newest coffee shops. Situated off 40th in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood, the coffee shop finds its home in an graffiti’d space full of hipster vibes, complete with a conference room, community tables, and six garage doors that welcome natural light and good weather on warm Denver days.

With an operating manager with years of experience in the high-end coffee industry and a founder with a decade of experience in education and community-building, this coffee shop has a unique mission. The excellent service, artisan coffee, and welcoming vibe of Prodigy are made greater by their dedication to serving and bettering the community of northeast Denver.

Inspired and influenced by Homeboy Industries, a gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program based in LA. The work of these organizations is based in the inherent value and worth of a human being, apart from anything they do, say, or accomplish. Valuing someone based on their inherent worth the frees them to become their fullest selves, because they’ve already been accepted.

The core of Prodigy’s mission, as stated on their website, is “interconnected with Nouwen’s concept of spiritual hospitality (we create space for people to be authentically and fully themselves) and the Homeboy concept of ‘firme’ (you could not be one bit more perfect).”

The coffee shop employs Denver’s young adults, focusing on at-risk youth often marginalized by an economic and education system that overlooks them. Through Prodigy, these low-income young adults are connected to resources and community through the coffee shop’s mentorship program. Through the job and mentorship program, Denver’s at-risk young adults can begin to “build a basis for lifelong professional and passionate work, experiencing social mobility.”

Founder, Steph Frances says, “We really want to stress that this is much more than just a nonprofit that teaches kids to make a cup of coffee; we are teaching them how to build relationships with people who are different than them. We are creating this space for something we call spiritual hospitality, a space for people to be fully and authentically themselves.”

This coffee shop is bringing life and hope to a part of Denver that most needs it. Next time you’re craving a cuppa joe, head over to Prodigy Coffee House. It’s delicious and it’s purposeful, and with a mission centered on the idea that “you could not be one bit more perfect,” maybe you’ll also leave feeling a little more loved and a little more already-perfect. 

PHOTO COURTESY OF PRODIGY VENTURES