How did you hear about/get involved with Thistle Farms/Thistle Stop Café?
I have been friends with Becca Stevens since the mid 90’s and have believed in her heart and supported her visions any way I could over that time. I have consulted on initiatives relating to St Augustine’s, Magdalene, and Thistle Farms.
What is your role in the Café? Which element of the Café do you have the strongest personal connection with/are you most proud of?
| Leigh, David, Becca & Ronza at the Grand Opening of the Thistle Stop Cafe|
I was the Principal in Charge for Hastings Architecture (Architect of Record) on the Thistle Stop Café project. Leigh Fitts (project manager for Hastings) and I enjoyed working with the staff and design committee to help flesh out the vision of the space. As an architect, it is always gratifying to witness the transformation of space. However, in the case of the Thistle Stop Café, that transformation was especially meaningful because of how it represented the transformation of lives. Somewhere along the way, the architecture became secondary to us and the true enjoyment was recognizing that the space was simply a vessel for healing and optimistic change.
What about the project/women inspires you?
| Initial Drawings of the Thistle Stop Cafe|
What humbles me about the entire experience is God’s hand in overcoming extreme odds. Obviously, the overwhelming obstacles that the women face head-on and overcome are enough to inspire anyone with a pulse. But it’s even bigger than that. The generosity that pours out of the community to rally around projects such as this is unlike anything I have ever witnessed. The facility is the beneficiary of a wide range of donations, including countless hours of volunteer sweat embedded in the construction. Many questions about how something was going to occur or how challenges were going to be resolved were miraculously solution-ed with last minute knights in shining armor. Again and again. Time after time. There is a divine hand of grace that covers the world of Thistle Farms.
What brings people to the Café and keeps them coming back?
What will bring people to the Thistle Stop Café is the wonderful story. What will keep them coming back is the great service, atmosphere and tea. What will motivate people to tell others is how uniquely inspiring it is.
Stop by the This Thistle Stop Café at 5128 Charlotte Pike in Nashville,