The name “The Abbey” embodies the founder’s goals of pursuing excellence and sacredness in both life and work. Monks who would live at an Abbey might have pursued some kind of craft (see, Benditine, brewing beer) in tandem with their ascetic lifestyle. The Abbey Coffee Co. name is a nod to production of craft beverages and also ties to the spiritual pursuits of the founder of the company (Chris Demarse was a pastor). It continued on to encompass the atmosphere of the cafe itself, with the dim lighting and lofty ceilings, conjuring the feeling of being inside a monastery.
Chris Demarse began roasting coffee in his garage in 2012 while working at Tree of Life (now known as Slingshot) in their bookstore cafe, and he was also a teaching pastor at Exit 59 Church. Chris had been working in coffee for several years, first at McConn Coffee Co. at Indiana Wesleyan University, then at Alliance World Coffees in Muncie, IN.
He had recently left Muncie Alliance where he learned how to roast coffee, and decided to purchase a 3kilo Deidrich roaster and a La Marzocco Linea (both of which are still in the Abbey Cafe today). He began The Abbey Coffee Co. as a roasting wholesaler, often inviting people over to his home to enjoy cappuccinos and talk about coffee.
Darren Campbell, owner of Tree of Life Bookstores (now Slingshot), invited Chris to expand his roasting company into a brick and mortar cafe a few months later when Tree of Life purchased an expansive building on Western Ave in 2012. By 2013, The Abbey Coffee Co. existed as both a roasting company and a 3rd place cafe in Marion, IN.
Although we do not currently perform our own roasting, we keep to the same standards as when we were founded. We select high quality roasters who hold the same heart, same direct purchasing from farmers, and same movement towards high quality taste. Currently, we are serving Madcap Coffee from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Madcap keep a growing relationship with their farmers, ensuring the proper payment exchange and quality is held. Not to mention, they provide quality taste!
We are always searching for ways to serve our customers and friends well. Whether that is providing specialty blends for drip, chemex, and v60, or handcrafting seasonal drinks. We aim to provide a delicious, handcrafted drinks and a space for rest and conversations.
Though some believe we selected our logo from an image just because the monk looked super dope (that beard though!), it is actually because of his life and dedication to God.
Our logo is a modified image of St. Charbel. He was well known in his lifetime as a monk who through prayer and unprejudiced love brought peace and unity to the Christian and Muslim communities. Known for his dedication to prayer and several documented miracles, Christians and Muslims of the time would flock to him to learn what he was about.
In the spirit of St. Charbel, The Abbey was curated as a space foster community and welcome all people.