Sunday, April 15, 2012

Downtown Credo

Credo Coffee House is located in the heart of College Park, right across from Taste. I went to sketch one evening after work but I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to draw inside before it closed, so I sat across the street to sketch the building. What is unique about Credo is that you pay what you want for your coffee. I listened to the founder of Credo speak at a TEDx Conference and he gave an inspiring talk about how any individual can make a difference to improve the community.
Half way into the sketch, I realized I didn’t have any water in my brushes. I had used up all the water the night before. I realized I’d have to fill the brushes at Credo. I went inside and paid $1 for a cup of water, then I realized I would spill water everywhere If I tried to fill the brushes by pouring water from the cup. The young woman behind the counter filled the brushes I gave her using the sink. I left my untouched glass of water on the counter and rushed back across the street to finish the sketch. Downtown Credo is the open door to make an impact for good. The business of coffee is one place where things aren’t what they ought to be: big companies, bigger profits, exploited workers. They’re doing what they can with downtown credo coffee. They’re running the donations only coffee shop at 706 Smith St. in College Park, and you can buy coffee to brew at home. You won’t find a better tasting coffee or one that makes a stronger impact for good. The coffee is shade grown on the rugged and remote hillsides of the Ixil Triangle in the Quiche region of Guatemala. This area, once ravaged by a 36 year civil war, now produces a treasure, Cafe de la Esperanza. Grown and sun-dried at 3,500 to 5,000 feet, Cafe de la Esperanza is a sweet, citric coffee with balanced body and acidity. Each coffee plant is hand-cultivated and every bean is hand-processed at “Finca La Perla.”
It was the golden hour, just before sunset and the light grew more orange. Posters for local events filled the front window. I have to return someday and try the coffee. Funds raised go to a good cause. The credo reads, “Life is worth living. I refuse to merely exist. I pursue a life of meaning and purpose, fulfillment and joy. The world is not yet as it ought to be. Neither is my city. Neither am I. Yet, I reject apathy and despair. I engage the world, my city, and myself to make an impact for good. I am not alone. I press through narcissism, isolation and self-sufficiency striving to live in authentic community.”

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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