Frequently Asked Questions

What is Inspiration Ministries?

Located in rural Walworth County in Walworth, Wisconsin on its 60-acre campus, Christian League for the Handicapped d/b/a Inspiration Ministries was incorporated in 1949. With a mission of helping people with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities thrive in Christ-centered community, it seeks to address physical, mental and spiritual needs using a three-prong approach: accessible, residential community and programs; retreat and camping outreach programs; on- and off-campus volunteer and employment opportunities, and other community engagement.

What is Inspired Coffee?

A division of Inspiration Ministries, Inspired Coffee is a premium coffee shop, a neighborhood place, located in downtown Lake Geneva, employing 20-30 individuals with mild to moderate developmental disabilities in a setting where they will be celebrated, job trained, coached and, over time, placed into a fully integrated work setting.

What is the mission of Inspired Coffee?

To empower adults with disabilities to live with greater purpose and achieve their individual best in a thriving environment.

Who do you employ? Do you employ non-disabled individuals?

We employ people with mild to moderate intellectual and developmental disabilities. This includes, but is not limited to, people with autism, down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and other undiagnosed intellectual delays.

We employ non-disabled individuals as needed for certain positions, but our primary purpose is to train and employ as many individuals with disabilities as possible while ensuring high quality products, great customer service, and a top-shelf customer experience.

What is the ministry philosophy?

Inspiration Ministries’ ministry philosophy is based on John 10:10 from the Bible where Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” It’s the idea that all people are created on purpose and for a purpose. We are committed to helping each person thrive personally, socially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. At Inspired Coffee, our trainees and employees have opportunities daily to succeed, fail, grow, stretch, serve, and ultimately to become all that God created them to be.

Who is on your planning committee?

  • Erik Barber – President, Inspiration Ministries
  • Joe DeCiccio – Manager of Resident Services, Inspiration Ministries
  • Merik Fell – Director of Development, Inspiration Ministries
  • Rita Geilfuss – Director of Pupil Services and Special Education, Elkhorn Area School District
  • Bill Landwehr – Retired, World Vision
  • John Neighbors – Founder/Owner/Entrepreneur, Boxed and Burlap Coffee
  • Paul Meckler – Operations Manager, Oakfire Restaurant
  • Roger Wolff – Walworth County real estate developer

Who owns Inspired Coffee?

Inspired Coffee is a new division of Inspiration Ministries, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation. It is owned and operated by Christian League for the Handicapped d/b/a Inspiration Ministries in Walworth, Wisconsin. Its operations are governed by the Board of Directors.

Where is Inspired Coffee located?

883 West Main Street, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (downtown Lake Geneva)

When is the grand opening?

Spring 2020.

From where are you sourcing your coffee?

At this time, several potential coffee partners are being vetted. Ultimately, the selected partner will develop coffee blends and flavor profiles that are one-of-a-kind to Inspired Coffee.

What is the “look and feel” of Inspired Coffee?

  • Highly cause-focused customer experience where diversity is celebrated.
  • Signage, story-telling visuals, high quality décor created by people with disabilities, and other environmental details will reinforce the “cause,” the mission, and social impact of our work.
  • Open concept design.
  • A spacious place suitable for professionals to work and meet and the community to gather socially.
  • Cozy chairs and seating arrangements.
  • Glass-enclosed meeting space.

What is your staffing structure? How do volunteers play a role?

Staffing levels will flex depending on the season, day of the week, shift, etc. However, at a minimum, each shift has the following staffing:

  • Host/Greeter/Attendant
  • Front End Associate/Cashier
  • Food Preparation Associate
  • Barista
  • Stock Room/Runner
  • Float/Back End Runner (volunteer position)

In addition, a full-time General Manager is on site during normal business hours as well as a Talent Development Manager / Shift Leaders.

What is your employee recruitment, development and transition system?

We have created a multi-phase, 12-month system to help our team members grow to become the best versions of themselves as possible. This system spans from the recruitment process to transitioning out of Inspired Coffee and into a fully integrated work setting. Phases include:

  1. Connect and Recruit
  2. Assess, Hire, and Onboard
  3. Set Job-Specific Goals and Train
  4. Work Experience, Retain and Develop
  5. Advance and Launch

Inspiration Ministries is building collaborative partnerships with local companies in the food service, customer service, and hospitality industries. The goal is to present a viable, reliable and job-ready workforce solution to our employer partners following employment at Inspired Coffee.

What is on the menu?

Inspired Coffee will offer customers the best tasting coffee beverages in the area. Espresso drinks, brewed coffee and teas, as well as some refreshment beverages, will be sold. A limited menu of bakery and pastry items will be available as well.

What are your hours of operation?

Summer Hours
Monday-Thursday – 7:00a-7:00p
Friday-Saturday – 7:00a-8:00p
Sunday – Limited Hours or Closed

Off-Season Hours
Monday-Thursday – 7:00a-7:00p
Friday-Saturday – 7:00a-8:00p
Sunday – Limited Hours or Closed

Is Inspired Coffee financially sustainable?

Yes. The conservative financial model we created forecasts a positive operating margin within 12-months.

What is the fundraising need, the plan and the timeline?

$400,000 in startup funding is needed for equipment, furnishings and renovation, marketing and professional services, labor and wages, leasing, reserves, vision and growth, and other miscellaneous costs. This fundraising effort is narrow in scope and we anticipate meeting the goal with less than 75 donors.

Fundraising Milestones:

  • 9/30/19 – Initial $200,000 in gifts received.
  • 12/31/19 – Secondary $200,000 in gift commitments received.
  • 3/30/20 – Secondary $200,000 in gifts received.

Read more about the need and the plan.

Are charitable gifts to Inspired Coffee tax-deductible?

Yes, Inspiration Ministries is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization and gifts are deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

How can I make a donation to support Inspired Coffee? Who are gifts made out to?

Gifts may be made via our secure website here or by check made out to Inspiration Ministries (memo: Inspired Coffee) and mailed to:

Inspired Coffee
PO Box 877
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin 53147

Can I make a multi-year commitment/pledge?

Yes. As opposed to a one-time gift to Inspired, a multi-year commitment is a fantastic way to make a more significant financial impact while offering you flexibility.

Can I support the campaign with other-than-cash gifts?

Yes. For example, gifts of appreciated stock can be a tax-wise way to support this effort. As well, there may be other giving vehicles unique to your situation that we would be happy to discuss with you.

Additionally, we look to partner with community businesses and community groups that are interested in giving in-kind support of time, talent, products or services.

Do you have a menu of giving/wish list items and naming opportunities?

Yes. Click here for more details. Please contact Merik Fell, Director of Development, at 262.275.6131 (x 211) or mfell@inspirationministries.org.

How much in gifts and commitments have you received to date?

Of the $400,000 needed, $330,000 has been committed to date (as of mid-November 2019).