Couple merges coffee with community in 100-year-old farmhouse

Couple merges coffee with community in 100-year-old farmhouse

Couple merges coffee with community in 100-year-old farmhouse
September 01
12:50 2019

A whiff of glazed donuts and buttered biscuits seeped into the air at Farmhouse Coffee and Treasures in Argyle. It ushered people in, and the hush of soft voices was traded for warm laughter and heartfelt conversations. People felt at home enough to linger and at peace enough to take up space, finding comfort and community over a cup of coffee.

Wandering through the rooms was not considered loitering, but rather encouraged as exploring. Before ordering, a mom and daughter shuffled around the farmhouse, admiring the trinkets and repurposed antiques, all of which were for sale. Farmhouse, owned by Crystal and Jim Terry, might be the only coffee shop in Denton County where you can go in for a dirty chai and walk out with a dish towel.

“Our relationship with our customers is as important, if not more important, than our business,” Jim said. “My son works for me, and he’s always saying ‘Dad, that’s really great, but it’s not a good business model.’ So I’m trying to balance that business with my longing for the customer to feel valued and cherished.”

Farmhouse Coffee and Treasures sits at the center of Harvest, a neighborhood community in Argyle, Texas. Farmhouse operates out of a repurposed historical home originally built in 1878. Image by Will Baldwin

Farmhouse Coffee is, in fact, an actual farmhouse — the home is more than 100 years old and it was once the home of John W. Faught, who built the farmhouse in 1878 to raise cattle and grain. The Terrys, who moved from Washington to Texas following the passing of Jim’s brother, purchased the farmhouse almost two years ago. They said they were drawn to the quaint charm of the yellow and blue painted house, fittingly located on the corner of Homestead Way in the Harvest by Hillwood community.

Both Jim and Crystal worked as ministers for 30 years prior to their move to Texas. Initially, their goal was to plant a church, but they decided to foster a similar type of community in a different way — through coffee. They found the farmhouse while touring the Harvest homes, Crystal said, and felt that it would be the perfect place for their coffee shop.

“My older brother said, ‘Why start a church?’” Jim said. “‘There are plenty of those in Texas. Why don’t you start a place where people will come and you can create a culture that reflects Jesus.’”

The Terry’s maintained the farmhouse’s interior to function as a residential home, like it once was. Along with a pastel green sofa, farm-style benches and blue cushioned lounge chairs, customers are able to sit at a long dining room table, resembling where a large family would sit for Thanksgiving dinner.

The remaining space is filled by shelving units and wall art that you would find in your standard home, with phrases about family and love painted onto wooden blocks and carved into tin wall hangings. The decorations are offered for sale, as Crystal collects and repurpose antiques and trinkets on the side.

Crystal said their goal to cultivate Farmhouse’s culture came to fruition within months after their opening. The younger members of the Terry family helped out with advertising and social media engagement, while Hillwood offered Farmhouse gift cards to families buying homes built in the community. She said word traveled fast and they were soon able to draw customers in from outside Argyle to join their community.

Barista Mark Phillips (age 17) adds cream to a cold brew coffee at Farmhouse Coffee and Treasures. Image by Will Baldwin

Farmhouse’s roaster is Hidden House Coffee out of southern California, which is run by Crystal’s brother. Jim said their flagship store located in San Juan Capistrano is “as charming as you can get,” and the farmhouse carries some of their roasts for sale. In addition to coffee, Farmhouse offers a variety of baked goods and Jim sells breakfasts to customers on Saturday, like biscuits and gravy and strawberry waffles.

Jim said moving from ministry to small business has been “a unique challenge,” one in which he is often working over 60 hours a week, but he and Crystal’s goal of making the best cup of coffee in Texas pushes him to keep going. Though the more powerful driving force, he said, is the former youth pastor’s desire to cultivate an inclusive community where customers share a sense of trust and belonging with them.

“I think people can feel something different when they come into the Farmhouse,” Crystal said. “They can feel perhaps an atmosphere where they’re cared for and loved. We just keep building relationships.”

Jim said they have recently began building relationships with those outside of the Harvest community, particularly with students from UNT. He said many make the 15-minute drive because Farmhouse is usually more quiet and serene than Denton coffee shops. Some students go to Farmhouse to study or to catch up with friends.

Junior advertising major Madison Bellinghausen drives from UNT to Farmhouse specifically for the atmosphere. She said she loves how the farmhouse is nestled in a cozy neighborhood and away from the hustle of university life. Despite not being a Harvest by Hillwood resident, she said she always feels welcomed.

“Walking into Farmhouse makes me feel like I’m walking into a friend’s house,” Bellinghausen said. “I’ve honestly had some of the best conversations with my friends in their little living room area and on the porch.”

Farmhouse has garnered enough success and community support to have opened a smaller second location inside Cross Timbers Church in Argyle. The Terrys also own a vintage trailer that they use to sell coffee at events around the community. Jim said he has already been invited by Hillwood to be a part of the new community they’re building called Pecan Square, right up FM 407. Opening this new location is likely to happen in the next two to three years. In the long-term, though, Jim said he dreams of sharing the small farm experience through the intimacy of an environment that feels like home— a farmhouse coffee shop set up on multiple acres with a petting zoo, pumpkin patch and apple orchard.

On a busy Monday afternoon, Jim wandered out of the kitchen and toward a mother and daughter perched at the long dining table. They were from the community and had set up shop for the daughter’s day of homeschooling. Jim leaned over to the mother and whispered something, to which the mother nodded. After a quick trip back to the kitchen, Jim returned with a “very special unicorn hot chocolate” for the girl. He put in extra marshmallows just for her, he said.

After a quick chat, he broke away from their table and continued his rounds. He greeted familiar faces and introduced himself to the newcomers whose curiosity drew them to a little yellow farmhouse and into the soul of the Terry family.

Featured ImageBarista Mark Phillips (age 17) prepares a drink at Farmhouse Coffee and Treasures. Farmhouse is a coffee shop and store for repurposed antiques and handmade home products. Image by Will Baldwin

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Haley Arnold

Haley Arnold

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