Homemade scones fill the display case. Knitted coffee-sleeves fill a for-sale basket. The rain falls outside. Customers drive through.
Sure, The Carabinieri sells lattes and mochas, but the stand also serves another purpose: raising money for Allen Creek Community Church.
They call it "church without walls," the Rev. Dan Hazen said. The Marysville-based Allen Creek church operates several community-service projects, including the Seeds of Grace food bank and a co-op garden. The coffee grounds are used for compost in the garden. Proceeds from the coffee stand will help them create a performing arts center as well.
The coffee stand runs like any other business, Hazen said. The baristas get paid and keep their tips. The church works with local schools to hire young adults with developmental disabilities to hold signs outside.
The church purchased the stand about 18 months ago from longtime member Chrissie Clementson, Hazen said. Clementson named the stand after the national police force in Italy, where she once was stationed with the U.S. military.
Church leaders liked the stand's location "in the heart of Marysville," Hazen said. "We can be part of the central community presence here."
People tend to feel strongly about their coffee, and the church wanted to do it right, said the stand's general manager, Richard Boas. They use Caffe D'arte coffee from Seattle. They send their baristas to the city for training.
"These are professionals. We take it very seriously," Boas said. "This is good coffee. You're going to get good coffee, good food and good service."
They also like to use local ingredients, including the strawberries in the strawberry shakes, a summertime favorite, Boas said. The pumpkin scones are made with pumpkins from the church garden. Other scones feature ham and cheese.
"People will come strictly for the scones," said barista Abigail Zamudio, 19.
The coffee stand doesn't push faith on people, Hazen said. They don't hide what they're about, but the message isn't in-your-face, he said.
People usually ask about the signs if they want to learn more, Zamudio said.
Customers who come from CrossFit Marysville across the street even refuse to use stamp cards to earn the occasional free coffee, because they want to support the stand's purpose, Zamudio said.
"A lot of people are thrilled that we do it," she said.
About a fifth of the stand's customers are people they know from church, Hazen said.
Last weekend, church member Gary Edmondson, 58, of Marysville, pulled up for a nonfat vanilla latte.
"It goes for a good cause," Edmondson said. "It helps the world."
Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring toured the church's garden and food and clothing distribution center this summer.
Church leaders showed the mayor "just a lot of community-centered things they do to help the needy," he said.
Nehring toured the coffee stand too.
"I thought it was a very out-of-the-box way for a church to really make a difference in the community," he said.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allen Creek Community Church is at 7314 44th Ave. NE, Marysville. Services are at 6 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. The church operates The Carabinieri Bar coffee shop at 1519 Third Street, Marysville..
For more information, call 360-659-7335 or go to www.ac3.org.
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