The owners of Clutch Coffee Bar hope Mooresville residents will grab a cup of joe today to help a member of the community and one of Clutch’s own, Christina Buter.
Clutch, a strictly drive-through coffee shop, opened in March, when owners and childhood friends John Anderson and Darren Spicer took over the former Human Bean locations on East Plaza Drive and Williamson Road.
The pair grew up together in Oregon and lost touch. But about eight years ago, Spicer happened to roll up to the drive-through coffee shop where Anderson was working in California, and the two reconnected. Since that time, they decided to engage in what Spicer calls a “labor of love” and bring their passion for coffee east.
“ We shared a vision of people, coffee and culture, and exactly two years ago, we decided to bring our concept of drive-through coffee to life,” said Anderson. “It took persistence, because there were a lot of obstacles.”
As for how they ended up in Mooresville, Spicer said that they were looking for a market to break into that wasn’t saturated with drive-through shops like the West Coast.
“ We’re looking to eventually build a national brand, and we wanted to find a place that was near a large city, where we had room to grow,” he explained.
A broker in Charlotte told the pair about the Human Bean locations when the previous owner wanted to retire, and that was that.
“ Within about seven to 10 days, we were signing paperwork,” said Anderson, and the two moved from California to Mooresville.
The duo agrees that their business is not “just a coffee shop.” They stress the importance of serving certified organic and fair-trade coffee from Ethopia, as well as “forming a community, where we know our customers’ names and their orders.”
The latter part of their vision is already in place. During the Thursday morning rush, the baristas joked with customers, asking them if they wanted the same flavor latte as on their last visit, while they bopped around to music blaring through the tiny shop’s speakers.
The two locations have about 30 employees combined.
Supporting their staff is also something Spicer and Anderson stand behind, and the pair will be raising money for an employee, Buter, after a health crisis left her with a permanent ileostomy bag.
“ Christina started off as one of our customers, and she was a stay-at-home mom at the time who was looking for a job,” said Spicer. “We brought her on board, and she was here four to five days a week until her health issues.”
Spicer said he wouldn’t wish what happened to her on anyone, and that despite her struggles, Buter has “a wonderful attitude and spirit.”
“ We wanted to help her somehow, and we decided that 100 percent of the proceeds from purchases made on Sunday will go to her, to help pay for her care,” Spicer said. “Everyone has agreed that the tip jar money will be for her as well. We really hope that we’ll see an outpouring of love and support, because it’s a great cause.”
Spicer said that the total for the day will be given to Christina in a check, with no strings attached, for her medical bills.
Clutch is open daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.