Brandon Hutchinson

Brandon Hutchinson prepares food behind the counter at The Hutch’s new location in downtown Santa Rosa on the shop’s opening day. Hutchinson uses the shop as a way to connect with locals and bring the Gospel to them. 

SANTA ROSA (BNM) – A local Santa Rosa coffee shop begun in 2018 as a way to share the Gospel with the community has relocated twice to accommodate for its growing business.  

In summer 2018, The Hutch began as a lakeside drink vendor. Having a heart for Santa Rosa, the shop’s owner, Brandon Hutchinson, moved to Santa Rosa with his wife, Kristen, to “make disciples in town.” They ultimately decided to establish a business catering to and sharing the Gospel with Santa Rosa locals, as most of the businesses in Santa Rosa cater to interstate traffic. Hutchinson worked as the children’s pastor at First Baptist Church, Roswell, for about six years prior to moving to Santa Rosa. He also enjoyed managing many food-related operations while he worked for the church. 

The Hutch eventually relocated to an alley-access building in a suboptimal location in Santa Rosa. Despite the location, the business continued to grow, expanding its menu to include high-quality, yet affordable drinks, salads and sandwiches. In July 2019, The Hutch moved a new downtown location.  Hutchinson said the downtown building was for sale, but The Hutch could not afford to purchase it. However, the pastor at Santa Rosa’s Church of Christ purchased the building for the coffee shop after hearing their mission of making disciples and serving the locals. 

90% of the shop’s business is local, Hutchinson said. They are the only food establishment in the area. He said they have been told the locals appreciate “not being overlooked,” since the shop seeks to serve locals with affordable items. Affordability, he said, is another key factor in the business’ goal of engaging with locals, since Santa Rosa belongs to one of the poorest counties in the state. “It just means a lot to people,” he said. He and his wife frequently engage with customers and are sometimes able to have Gospel conversations with them. 

Hutchinson said the business faced some challenges during the transition. First, he said they were working to keep prioritizing the Gospel during the “busyness of business,” saying they are “ultimately [there] to share Jesus with people.” Second, as Santa Rosa is a remote town about two hours from the nearest department store, it was difficult for Hutchinson to purchase supplies for the shop. 

Hutchinson is currently working with the North American Mission Board and Chadd Spriggs, NAMB’s church-planting catalyst for Northern New Mexico, to plant a church in Santa Rosa through what NAMB refers to as a “co-vocational ministry.” Even if a church is established in Santa Rosa, The Hutch will remain in business as an interlinked ministry with the church, according to Hutchinson.

“As disciples are made, a church will form,” Hutchinson said. 

Media Services Assistant / Staff Writer

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