Coffee Changeover: Form & Function Owners Buy The District Coffee House 

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Lex Nelson

When Scott and Kate Seward opened Form & Function six months ago, they had no idea what to expect on opening day for their slow pour coffee shop and roastery. Now, the couple has taken another leap of faith by accomplishing something they set out to do years ago: buying The District Coffee House.

“We initially wanted to purchase [The District] back in 2015,” said Scott. “The Calvary Church recently approached us and said that the offer was back on the table, and asked us if we wanted to purchase.”

The District Coffee House, previously owned by Calvary Chapel Boise, is where Kate and Scott got their first taste of coffee culture. At the time, Kate was managing The District and was very involved in the structure of the business. Due to the nature of nonprofits, it became difficult for her to make business decisions because she would have to wait for the board to look over requests. But when the church approached Kate and Scott with the renewed offer to sell the shop, they felt they couldn’t say no.

click to enlarge Form & Function co-owner Kate Seward spoke at a coffee panel on roasting during Foodfort 2018. - LEX NELSON
  • Lex Nelson
  • Form & Function co-owner Kate Seward spoke at a coffee panel on roasting during Foodfort 2018.

“We felt that we needed to do it,” said Scott. “We were worried that someone else might take over and not love it as much as we do.”

Scott said he and Kate want to continue The District’s involvement in nonprofit efforts, but they plan to rotate nonprofits every so often to give multiple organizations the opportunity to bring awareness to their missions. The District has partnered with Send Hope in the past, and it will be the first organization featured by the coffeehouse. Send Hope is a faith-based nonprofit organization that channels donations to provide a variety of services like shelter, food and basic care kits to HIV/AIDS-affected people in India.

“We plan to use The District as a for-profit space, but also use it as a venue to highlight local nonprofits around the Treasure Valley. We’ll sit down with them in order to see if our space will work for them, and essentially offer them a residency,” said Scott.

The main change to The District will be its transition from a nonprofit to a for-profit model. The menu will stay the same, apart from the fact that beans will now be sourced from the roaster at Form & Function. Some updates are planned, but so far consist only of painting and minor renovations to the space. Scott and Kate said they also plan to keep the storefront open on Sundays—a change from past policy—after they settle into the space with new staff.

The couple has a lot on their plate right now. Kate is expecting a baby soon, and Form & Function is still in its infancy, but Scott said they’re excited for the future.

“The District is a great stepping stone,” he said. “It serves the community very well, from people who don’t like coffee that much to avid connoisseurs. If you want to try pour-overs, it’s a great place to start. Eventually if you dive deeper, you can come to a place like Form & Function.”

The Sewards officially took ownership of The District on July 8. Form & Function will continue to operate its coffee cart at the Boise Farmers Market, as well as its Broad Street space.

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