Aug 6, 2023 - Food and Drink

Loring Park's new cafe is fueling youth futsal

The exterior of Fawkes Alley Coffee, a black and white painted building.

Fawkes Alley Coffee. Photos courtesy of Caleb Crossley

A new cafe tucked away in a Minneapolis alley has joined the growing wave of coffee shops with a mission.

What's happening: Fawkes Alley Coffee opened in Loring Park at the end of July as an extension of Futsal Society, a free youth sports league that primarily serves young adults in underrepresented communities. Futsal is much like soccer but played on a smaller, hard-surface court and usually indoors.

Context: Caleb Crossley founded Futsal Society in 2017 to make youth sports more accessible, he told Axios. It's since grown from one team to 12 in 2021, and membership is free.

  • The coffee shop, which has been in the works for over a year, is partially staffed by former players that aged out of the program. All profits will go back into the organization, including funding employee development and education programs.

The intrigue: Almost everything — including rent, utilities, construction and marketing — has been gifted by the building's owner, fellow tenants and friends. Property manager and longtime Futsal Society volunteer Alex Heller believes a coffee shop is necessary to attract office tenants.

  • "My business gets an amazing amenity, we expand Futsal Society and we're able to stay in these kids' lives after graduation. It's worth it to us," Heller said.
  • He estimated the shop has received about $100,000 in free labor so far.

What to expect: Three society graduates are already employed at the shop, which has patio seating, specialty coffees, pastries and lunch options coming next week.

  • Fawkes Alley Coffee is open 8am-4pm daily, and a grand-opening party will be held Aug. 24, Crossley said.

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