It all started at this year’s Futsal Society fundraiser at Loring Corners. The youth-focused, non-profit organization was raising money for jerseys, equipment, and costs for renting out Whittier Park’s inside gym. The event was so successful that people started brainstorming big ideas. One of those people was Alex Heller, the Loring Corners property manager.
“Let’s do a coffee shop!” exclaimed Heller. A community coffee shop to benefit the Futsal Society, Heller pitched.
“We have to wait on that,” Futsal Society founder Caleb Crossley responded.
Heller’s best friend, Logan Quiggle, helped convince Crossley that there was no need to wait. Now, Crossley spends his time with Heller and Quiggle planning the coffee shop. Heller has been involved in the Futsal Society from its start and Quiggle is also a long time volunteer.
As for the location? That was easy–Heller had an empty 500-square-foot space in Loring Corner’s Fawkes Building.
Starting in early 2023, Fawkes Alley Coffee will serve the north end of Loring Park and the Minneapolis College area.
Not only will the coffee shop benefit the Futsal Society, the coffee shop will be staffed with Futsal Society youth and alumni. Crossley said he has struggled to find a meaningful place for the young adults who age out of the Futsal Society. The former players tend to stay in the city after graduating and want to stay involved.
Fawkes Alley will act as a workplace development hub for Futsal Society's youth and young adults. Crossley pointed to Wildflyer as an example of the type of mentor-employer he wants to be. Crossley has also met with the owner of Butter Bakery Cafe, Dan Swenson-Klatt, about Butter’s approach to employment. Both Wildflyer and Butter work with and mentor youth who have gone through homelessness.
What makes this collaboration even more…collaborative is the involvement of Heller’s tenants, LAB, a branding and marketing company located in Loring Corners. LAB donated their time to create a brand suite for Fawkes Alley. Mollie Windmiller, the owner of LAB, showed me the full brand presentation including the shop’s logo, color scheme, website copy, and social media. In the marketing world, this is not something typically done pro bono.
‘“What we really believe in is the power of collaboration,” Mollie Windmiller said, about her company’s focus.
“We are just so grateful for that,” Heller said. Heller laughed as he recounted how Crossley and he were close to buying soccer stuff off Etsy for decor.
“They might have designed their own sign,” LAB’s branding and editorial manager, Emma Geary, said. “With coffee bean clip art.”
The original coffee shop name, FS Alley, was also updated by LAB.
“What’s FS?” Heller asked, criticizing his own idea. “We’ve never called Futsal Society FS.”
Even though the coffee shop starts with the Futsal Society, there are numerous collaborations in the works.
“It’s not just futsal,” Windmiller said, as she started to recount all the relationships they have forged. Windmiller named a few local businesses who may team up with Fawkes Alley Coffee. For now, those conversations are under wraps.
During a group conversation, Heller invited Geary and Windmiller to a food tasting with a local restaurant.
“We have to do this together,” Heller said.
Fawkes Alley Coffee is at located at 1621 Harmon Place in Loring Park and will be open in early 2023.
To learn more about the Futsal Society's work in Whittier and Southwest Minneapolis, check out our article on the futsal courts planned for Whittier Park.