As a guy whose job it is to build connections among like-minded youth ministers, Jon Hogge is definitely a people person – and he’s found a place where his love for people can thrive.
The Indy-area coordinator for the National Network of Youth Ministries, Jon spends his days helping other youth leaders like himself meet each other and share their resources. It’s not your typical office job, which means Jon has some flexibility when it comes to where he does his work.
Working at home is always an option, but Jon doesn’t always enjoy being cooped up alone. He’s a people person, after all – he wants to be somewhere that gives him the opportunity to connect with others. Coffee shops, of course, are always bustling with people, but that can often make it hard to find an empty table.
What’s more, Jon is a guy who likes to buy local. He prefers to use his money to support businesses that are native to Indianapolis, rather than always buying from big chains.
Enter Church at the Crossing’s own Abbie Craig, who brought Jon to The Haverstick to meet and discuss their youth ministry work. When he made the short drive from his 91st Street home to meet Abbie at the Haverstick Road campus, Jon found himself in a locally sourced and owned coffee shop where he could connect with new people without being overwhelmed by a crowd.
“I was immediately like, ‘What is this place?’” Jon says.
True to his people-centric self, Jon quickly found himself coming to The Haverstick at least once a week and connecting with regulars. He knows the staff and baristas by name, and he makes it a point to introduce new people to the coffee shop whenever he gets the chance.
“I’m the kind of guy who champions the things he cares about,” Jon says, adding that he tries to be a Haverstick champion.
So what is it about The Haverstick that keeps Jon coming back? Well, aside from the opportunity to make new connections and support a local business, the youth minister says he likes that the coffee shop feels inviting and “warm.”
While some larger coffee companies can make their customers feel obligated to buy a drink or a snack if they want to sit down and work, at The Haverstick, Jon says he doesn’t feel any pressure.
He can come in, grab a cup of coffee if he wants, then get right to work. Plus, without the constant noise that comes with a crowded space, Jon says The Haverstick’s ample space and quiet atmosphere makes it easier for him to be creative.
There are other small details that make The Haverstick a unique local joint, Jon says. He likes that the music selection is varied, and he also appreciates having the option to work at a table, in a comfortable chair or in a private room.
But what’s most intriguing to Jon is that even though The Haverstick sits on a church campus, coming to the coffee shop doesn’t make him feel like he’s in a formal church setting. Instead, he feels like he’s at a place where he and the other customers can relax and be themselves – a key attribute for a guy like him, who wants to get to know as many people as possible.