Our Story

Here's a short video overview:


Founders and Owners Brandon and Amanda are passionate about making the South Loop neighborhood a better place to live, work, study, play, and affect global change.  They started Overflow as a way to enrich the lives of their neighbors, while also enriching the lives of people around the world.  Both hail from small towns and hope to have a "small town" feel in Overflow, while enjoying the impact you can make in such a big city.  Amanda is also proud to be an alumna of the University of Chicago.

Overflow opened our doors to the public on March 18, 2011 and have been seeking to be a cornerstone to life in the South Loop ever since.

Overflow's Story from the Neelys' Perspective

Our story really starts back in the circumstances into which we were born.  Both of us grew up in poverty.  Amanda's parents were on public assistance at the time of her birth.  The family overcame poverty through her mom going back to college in her thirties and then getting a solid job.  Brandon grew up in a single-mother household. Brandon's mom was always delicately trying to balance providing for the family monetarily with providing for the family in just as important emotional, mental, and spiritual ways.  We were also born in a world where too many struggle with less than a living wage.  Having known the challenges ourselves, we knew our destiny was to help end poverty for others.

So in early 2008 when we were dreaming about what we'd like to do with our lives.  We were asking questions about how to fulfill our destinies, end poverty, and make the world a better place.  Brandon had always dreamed of starting a neighborhood coffee shop that served as a rally point for the community.  Amanda was active in the nonprofit sector as a grant writer and began to think, "there has to be a better way for small nonprofits to fulfill their missions and not get distracted from their missions by fundraising."  We put these two thoughts together and dreamed up a neighborhood coffee shop that changes the world through small actions, small nonprofits, and small business.  Hence, the idea for "changing the world one cup at a time."

At the same time, the South Loop was growing and lots of people were moving here but businesses were slow to follow.  When we started thinking about where we would root ourselves and our coffee shop, we would walk through the South Loop and find ourselves falling in love with it.  In 2007, we attended our first Bash on Wabash but it wasn't until 2009 that we were able to move to the 'hood.  Still, the neighborhood didn't have a true neighborhood coffee shop.  Sure there were restaurants that served coffee but not a place solely focused on coffee and community.

After 3 years of developing a business plan, completing an apprenticeship, bootstrapping, and practicing tenacity, Overflow launched at 1550 S. State Street and the full dream keeps getting closer and closer to reality.  There's still much more to come...

 Overflow Your Possibility

We offer elite coaching to highly motivated entrepreneurs and innovators. In short, we help people make money and impact the world for the better at the exact same time.

Yup.  That’s what we do.

We’re betting you’ve got a desire to be your own boss, make one hell of an impact, and make money doin’ the stuff you love.  We believe you can overflow your possibility to the max.

Check out what we're up to at www.overflowyourpossibility.com

It's way more than just The Neelys 

Overflow is very grateful to so many who have supported us along the way. Individuals have given anywhere from $10 to $5,000 because they, like the Neely's, believe in the power of small business and social enterprise to change the world.  If you agree, we invite you to consider doing likewise.  Find out more here.



Looking for a speaker for your next event?

Look no further.  Inquire by email to info[at]overflowcoffeebar[dot]org.  Let us know the topic, time, location, and audience.  We'll send you a quotation.

Our favorite topics include: ethical economics, community building, social justice, entrepreneurship, social enterprise, branding, Millennials, and bootstrapping.  



Overflow is proud to be members of the following organizations:



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