Briercrest alumnus mixes business with passion in her coffee shop
It is safe to say that coffee pumps through the veins of Kecia Stevens.
While most people are enjoying their teenage years by spending time with friends and relaxing, Stevens started searching for a coffee related job at age 14 while attending Caronport High School.
"I think when I was 14 or 15 I started applying for jobs because I really liked the idea of working," explained Stevens. "I ended up working [at Coffee Encounters] in Grade 12 after a couple years of trying to get the position. I realized that I loved to work!"
This love for coffee would not wear off, as much as she tried. She had been working at Coffee Encounters for over a year when she moved to Regina to be closer to her boyfriend (now husband) and she found herself looking for another job.
"He lived in Regina and I decided I wanted to be closer so I didn't have to commute all the time," she explained. "So I went there and found work in coffee shops," she laughed. "I tried pursuing other careers in aesthetics; that's what I thought I really wanted to do. I wanted a coffee shop later in the future but [I thought] that wouldn't happen for years!"
As much as she wanted to pursue a career in aesthetics, it didn't seem as if it was the right fit.
"It just kept not working. It's like the door kept closing, and I fought it. I thought 'no, I'm going to do this!'" Eventually, she conceded. "I went back to school and started working in a coffee shop. I ended up going back to Moose Jaw, actually, to go to Briercrest."
While taking classes at Briercrest and managing a coffee shop in Moose Jaw, Stevens still held tightly to the dream of owning her own coffee shop.
Luckily for Stevens, she would not have to wait long to have that dream come true.
An opportunity came up to actually work [at Coffee Encounters] again.... I really loved it here, the connections, the people, the environment ... this is where my heart was. I had been praying for an opportunity to work in a coffee shop again" she explained, "and had been praying to see where the Lord wanted me, so I applied."
While she had applied for a full-time server position, it seemed that her fate was tied to a higher position within the company. Coffee Encounters called Stevens and offered her a managerial position instead. A few months later, she was an owner.
"It was something I had been praying for years, something I was really interested in," Stevens shared. "I just thought it would happen maybe in my 30s or something; not when I was 22!"
With the love and support of her parents, Stevens began going down the road that she had always dreamed of; owning her own coffee shop. A coffee shop that was different than the rest.
"It comes down to the community. I really had a heart for the people [of Moose Jaw]," she said. "What we have talked about as owners is that we want people to feel like a guest. We want this to be a place where they can come and be rejuvenated, or blessed ... just basically a place to brighten their day as they go off."
Intertwining her passions of coffee, business and music, owning Coffee Encounters has become a life changing experience for Stevens. In all of this, she never neglects to think of others.
"We aren't just serving coffee we are building into people's lives."