About

Volunteer-Powered

We want to be a space that is for the community and powered by the community. 

We used as much volunteer labour as we could in the creation of Common Ground…basically everything that didn’t need a professional contractor was done by a volunteer. Our new location was graciously donated by Christensen Developers. More about this in the renovation section.

Our barista staff is volunteer and currently numbers around 80. In order to coordinate between this large number of people we focus on getting a few things really right and have a simplified menu.

 

Our Story

Common Ground Cafe was born out of the desire to create a space for community to gather.

Our founders, Ian and Eileen Edwards, are pastors in the Moravian Church. Ian is originally from West Edmonton, Eileen is from the Bronx, New York. In August 2009, they moved with their family from Staten Island New York, where they had served a church for five years, to Sherwood Park to pastor Good News Moravian Church and start a new church somewhere in the Edmonton area. They soon learned that it’s best to start a church in your neighbourhood, and they already had a great little church down the block…theirs. In getting to know the community through a research project and many conversations, it became clear that what Sherwood Park is really looking for is community and connectedness.

During this time, Eileen was volunteering at The Carrot, a community coffee house run by Arts On The Ave. on 118 Ave. in Edmonton. One day after a meeting at The Carrot, someone suggested, “Why don’t you guys start a version of The Carrot in Sherwood Park?” And the idea for Common Ground was born: a volunteer-powered community coffee house where people can connect and share what is important to them.

We foster a climate of purposeful inclusion, an environment where all can feel safe, valued, cared for, and given an opportunity to form meaningful connections with each other. We celebrate Common Ground Community’s diversity including our differences in age, race, national origin, range of abilities, sexuality, gender, and religion. Initial funding came from the Moravian Church, but as a nonprofit seeking openness to all, Common Ground is deliberately non-religious. Ian and Eileen no longer operate our cafe, but you can still find them visiting often.

 

The Coffee

Our coffee tastes good and does good.

We believe we’re part of a global community, so we serve coffee that is ethically sourced. We currently sell direct-trade & fair-trade coffee from Intelligentsia.

 

The Business Details

We are a registered nonprofit that seeks to build connections and make our community a better place to live.

Common Ground is a blend of non-profit and business called ‘social enterprise’… businesses that have a primary goal of giving back to their community. We have two over-arching principles: be an effective business and be a gift to the community.

Where do our profits go?

As an incorporated not-for-profit, we are responsible for ensuring the funds go back into our community. We currently give back by generously sharing our space– especially with charities and groups improving our community.

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