NORMAN — Josh Hammell never intended to spend most of his day standing behind an industrial-sized coffee maker. His degree is in communication and religious studies.
But sometimes a force bigger than ourselves has a different idea of how we should spend our lives. Nobody knows that more than Hammell, who seems quite at home brewing up those double lattes with nonfat milk.
Hammell has accepted that he is right where he’s supposed to be: the director of Second Wind Coffee House. More than just a barista, Hammell also is a mentor to all who cross his path.
“I really like having a job that is meaningful and helping people,” he said.
A mission of First Presbyterian Church, Second Wind Coffee House has been a Campus Corner staple for many years, and Hammell has been there just as long, brewing up one of the best cups of coffee in town.
“The growth of this place has been happening about a decade,” Hammell said. “About 10 years ago, they (First Presbyterian Church) started using the building as a place for college students to meet for lunches on Sundays, Bible studies and concerts featuring local artists on Fridays. About six, seven years ago, it started developing as a nonprofit coffee house.”
Open during the fall and spring semesters, the coffee shop doesn’t have pricing on its menu. The concept, Hammell said, is that customers will pay what they can. In turn, all the money donated goes back to missions and general operations.
“We are very nontraditional in every aspect. We have these really nice Fair Trade gourmet drinks that are exchanged either for free or 25 cents or a couple of bucks, whatever people can donate. What we do receive in donations, goes back into programming a community,” Hammell said.
“When we first opened, we tried having suggested donations, which we thought would make it a little bit easier for people, but we set the suggestion too low. I think it was encouraging people to only give a certain amount. This is our third year doing a straight donation, and that works a lot better because people who can’t pay, it makes them not feel guilty, and for people who want to give more, they are sure to do that,” he said.