Downtown Springfield Association
A barista makes an espresso drink at The Potter's House Downtown
Downtown Business Spotlight, News Stories

The Potter’s House Downtown adds coffee, ministry to the downtown community

February 22, 2019


Downtown Springfield’s reputation as a coffee hot spot is well known. Its illustrious list of shops has grown by one well-known local name.

The Potter’s House Downtown is now open at 420 West College Street, right across the street from Regal Cinema College Station 14. Its hours are 1-8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Coffee enthusiasts will recognize that name from the shop of the same name located at 724 South National. But The Potter’s House is more than a coffee shop.

Steve and Berna Proffitt dreamed up the not-for-profit, faith-based ministry in 1999 at Missouri State University. The Proffitts had spent 20 years in a ministry and were feeling a call to become missionaries. They found that mission in a college town with more than 30,000 students, and more than 600 international students, representing more than 80 foreign countries.

The Potter’s House officially opened its doors in November 2000, sponsored by The Church of the Nazarene. It started as about 20 college students meeting weekly in the Proffitt’s home. It grew to more than 800 students walking through the doors of The Potter’s House.

It has given those students a place to meet old friends, make new friends, enjoy coffee and smoothies, and, occasionally, study. It has become a home away from home.

“The National Avenue location has been voted by MSU students (in The Standard’s annual ‘Best Of….’ issue) as the “Best Coffee House” eight8 years in a row, and ‘Best Place to Hang Out’ for the past three years,” Steve Proffitt said. “This is a ‘write in’ vote without any prompts. I think this speaks well of our campus connection for the past 18 years.”

Proffitt is not involved in The Potter’s House Downtown. It is operated by The Well church, also located at 420 West College Street, and is following in Proffitt’s footsteps.

“Potter’s House Downtown is also a ministry, so the funds we raise through the coffee shop go directly to ministry at The Well,” Brandon Lien, of The Well, said. “We simply want to share the love of Jesus with others, so that they also can live in the freedom that Christ offers.”

Even though The Potter’s House Downtown isn’t located across the street from a college campus, there is no shortage of students in the neighborhood.

“With our church being located downtown, we know firsthand that hundreds of college students are in Downtown Springfield every day,” Brandon Lien, of The Well, said. “There are three things we are passionate about: Jesus, people, and coffee (in that order). We thought it would be a great idea to combine these three things, where we could use delicious coffee as a way to reach out to students and provide a safe place for them to hang out. Potter’s House Downtown is located in the front of The Well and we are excited that we now get to open our doors even more hours of the week.”

The menu will look familiar to fans of The Potter’s House. There will be hot and cold espresso drinks as well as coffee. Chai, cider, hot chocolate, tea, milkshakes and more are there for the non-coffee drinkers.

“The warm, friendly environment that Potter’s House Downtown offers is truly one of a kind,” Lien said. “Our unique coffee flavors, comfy atmosphere and caring volunteers make the perfect place to study, hang out with friends, or simply sit and sip coffee. We also hold events in the coffee shop, like paint parties and live music. We just want to be a home-away-from-home for students, so we have created a place where you truly feel like you belong. We are the coffee shop that loves you back!”

One of those special events is coming up Thursday, Feb. 28. The Potter’s House Downtown will host a paint party from 5-8 p.m. Just $5 at the door will get you a canvas and a drink of your choice. There will also be live music.

For more information visit www.thepoho.com, or follow The Potter’s House on Facebook. The Well has three church services on Sundays, at 8:30, 10 and 11:30 a.m. They also offer an alternative church service on Fridays at 7 p.m. Check out their website, thewellspringfield.org/, for more information.

Friends sit at a table in a coffee shop and study