MRPC News Release

For immediate release
Feb. 1, 2017

For more information, contact
Maria Bancroft at (573) 265-2993, Ext. 114


Our Story Coffee House and Home Store opened in October 2015 to bring offerings that are unique to the Sullivan area and surrounding communities. The cafe and home store is located at 454 N. Church St., Sullivan.

Our Story Coffee House and Home Store continues serving Sullivan area

SULLIVAN—Our Story Coffee House and Home Store is a cafe and gift shop that opened in October 2015. Owner Crystal Ray began the business with the vision to bring offerings that are unique to the Sullivan area and surrounding communities.

The cafe provides a variety of products including frappes, smoothies, homemade desserts, bistro sandwiches, salads and soups with the biggest sellers being espresso drinks and specialty cupcakes.  When asked why she wanted to open a cafe, Ray said it’s what her family does.

“My family is in the restaurant business, and my sister likes to make unique cupcake flavors so we decided we would see how it would do in our community,” Ray said. “We are very passionate in what we do. We strive to make every order exactly how you want it so you continue to come back every day. We also love providing variety and being able to give something unique.”

 As always there are some ups and downs when starting a business.

“The down side is definitely the money stress of a new business and waiting for that breakeven point,” Ray said. “The high is definitely watching yourself climb to reach that goal of finally showing a profit. Another plus is all of the people we have met. Our customers are truly amazing in their loyalty!”

Ray turned to Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) because Our Story Coffee House and Home Store was in a position of needing more working capital but did not have enough equity for the banks to assist.  By working with MRPC’s business loan specialist, Ray was able to receive a loan through the Meramec Regional Development Corporation (MRDC) Revolving Loan Fund (RLF), which partnered with Midwest Region Bank (Festus, MO Branch) to provide the working capital the business needed.

The RLF is a long-term, fixed loan typically between $20,000 and $100,000, but no greater than 40 percent of the total project. With an RLF loan, one job per $20,000 loaned must be created. These loans can be used for purchases of land or buildings, renovations, machinery/equipment, furniture and fixtures, working capital or inventory and soft costs.  MRDC works in partnership with local banks on all projects.

Our Story Coffee House and Home Store, located at 454 N. Church St., Sullivan, MO, is open 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Follow them at for more information.

For more information on MRPC’s small business loans program, contact Maria Bancroft at 573-265-2993 Ext. 114 or at

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 25, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at or on Facebook at

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