Carrollton’s City Station plans to offer a one-of-a-kind community center with a variety of different housing and amenities. Pastors from Southern Hills Christian Church, the driving force behind City Station, recently announced the addition of a new restaurant to the project that will bring a unique flavor to Carroll County.
“We don’t want to just feed people, we want to feed their soul,” said Kevin Jarrett, Executive Pastor of Operations. “The building itself is really worthless unless we can use it to connect people, bring them together, and bring them closer to God.”
The new restaurant, aptly named the Mustard Seed Cafe, is an idea that originally sprouted years ago on the opposite end of the United States. Michael and Lisa Perkins founded the original Mustard Seed Cafe in Redmond, Oregon, in 2001 after years of working in the restaurant industry.
“We had both worked in the restaurant industry for many years and had always wanted to open our own restaurant,” says Michael. “We were in the final planning stages of opening one, and we were down to our last cent—literally. We still hadn’t decided on a name for the place, and my wife was writing a check for the last bit of money we had, which was going toward a sign for the restaurant. She said, ‘This is going to take the faith of a mustard seed,” and I said, ‘That’s it!’ So we named the restaurant the Mustard Seed Cafe.”
The restaurant was a huge success in Redmond, but the couple soon decided to embark on a new venture and founded the Mustard Seed Mission in Nicaragua. Michael and Lisa went on to spend twelve years in Nicaragua doing mission work for different churches.
During their time in Nicaragua, Michael and Lisa established close relationships with mission team members, and soon discovered an opportunity to move back to the States and begin a new journey with the Mustard Seed Cafe.
“While Lisa takes lead in Nicaragua, I will be serving as the Director of the Mustard Seed Cafe at City Station,” says Michael. “You may already know we were successful restaurant owners before our move to Nicaragua, and preparing meals for mission teams is one of my favorite parts of our ministry. I’m looking forward to putting these passions and experiences to work at City Station.”
Jarrett said his team had always planned to create a restaurant for City Station, and the Mustard Seed Cafe seemed to be a perfect fit for the new development.
“One of the things we found with Michael was that we could create a gathering place that has a purpose beyond just selling food and being a restaurant,” says Kevin. “We get to bring the community together and use it as a form of ministry. We get to be a part of something much bigger than just food.”
Michael says Lisa will continue the mission work in Nicaragua while he handles operation of the new restaurant. He said the couple sees the move as a great opportunity for their three children, and for their mission team to help foster the work of the Mustard Seed Mission in Central America, while also starting a new chapter in Carrollton.
“Our move to Carrollton will put us within a short drive of three supporting churches,” says Michael. “The kids are excited about deepening their friendships with those who have visited the farm on a mission trip as well as experiencing church community in their heart language. They’re also looking forward to experiencing things they can’t in Nicaragua, like hunting and fishing, and doing chores.”
The Mustard Seed Cafe at City Station will offer a healthy food menu including soups, salads, burgers and other cuisine.
“Everything on our menu will be unique and flavorful foods that will all be made from scratch,” says Michael. “When you make it all from scratch, and really put a lot of love into it, it makes the food special. It becomes more than just a restaurant.”
Michael also noted that the menu items will be affordable for patrons, and will offer a casual dining experience. Kevin says the restaurant’s goal is to bring the community together.
“We’re really excited to bring something like this to Carrollton because it’s going to be a place that brings people together,” says Kevin. “People can come in from the Greenbelt, or stop by the Mustard Seed Cafe here at City Station before or after a class. It’s going to be a place where parents can stop by and grab some food and eat and let their kids play on the playgrounds outside. We really want it to be a place where people can come multiple times per week and feel like they are eating with friends.”
The restaurant is currently under construction at City Station and will open when the development is completed in July. For more information, visit the City Station website here.