My Favorite Spot On Our California Vacation

My husband and I recently completed a five night vacation to California (without our four kids). It was amazing! Yosemite. El Capitan. Half-Dome. Pismo Beach. Avila Beach. Montana de Oro State Park. Morro Bay. Bixby Canyon Bridge. Carmel-by-the-sea. Pebble Beach. Monterey. And more.


And my favorite spot of all the many places we went was…

…drum roll

Cornerstone Coffee in Fresno

The diversity and beauty of God’s creation all across California is awesome to behold. But it was at this unassuming coffee shop that I was literally overcome with emotion at God’s handiwork.  I had a lump in my throat that took quite some time to dissolve.

The city of Fresno in the middle of California was a convenient spot for us to break up our trip between Yosemite and Pismo Beach. We arrived in the dark at our Fresno Airbnb after an amazing and very full day at Yosemite. The next morning, since we were focused on getting on the road to head to the beautiful coast, we picked a random place we found on Yelp that was on the way out of town for a quick bite to eat. As we drove from our lodging to the coffee shop, we passed store after store with bars on the windows and doors.  We saw poor people. We saw small shabby homes.

Finally we found the coffee shop. As we walked up to it, the sidewalk sign caught my attention. “100% of your purchase goes towards helping women and children.”

Cornerstone Coffee 1

I immediately thought of a very dear friend of mine who has been helped by an organization with a similar mission. She now uses her own consignment shop to help women. My interest in this random coffee shop spiked.

We headed to the entrance and saw the glass door had been partly smashed and was being held together with some duct tape.  I guess that is why the other stores had bars on the doors.  A handwritten sign taped to the door said to please open gently.

Cornerstone Coffee 2

We curiously entered. A Bible verse written on a small chalkboard by the sweetener caught my eye next.

Cornerstone Coffee 3

I surveyed the front counter as we waited in line and saw more evidence of a belief in God in other displayed items.

Then the two female employees greeted us and served us with such warmth.

As I sat down, I noticed Christian music playing over the speakers. A beautiful song, Andrew Peterson’s Is He Worthy?, which we recently had sung in church ended our time in the coffee shop.  My heart felt so overwhelmed by the whole experience that morning.

Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. He was visible everywhere in this place. I maybe viewed Fresno as just a place for a quick over-night stop during a vacation, but God had clearly chosen to invest in Fresno.  He had transformed lives and was breathing hope through this coffee shop.

I saw many, many beautiful places in California, but none of them touched my heart like seeing Jesus unexpectedly at work in a random coffee shop in Fresno.

Cornerstone Coffee 5



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