Roots Brew Coffee looks to unite the community

By Mayra Monroy on May 12th, 2016 / Comments

Grand Rapids, though the second largest city in Michigan, thrives on a community-based ideal. For Mallory Root, co-founder and owner of Roots Brew Coffee, it was important to bring a shop that would unite the community.

“The goal of Roots Brew Shop was to create a space where everyone felt welcomed. We wanted to create a place where people would feel a sense of community,” said Root. “It was also very important for us to be able to compete well when it came to quality of product. We wanted to bring to Grand Rapids some roasters who were not yet present here.”

The coffee culture in Grand Rapids is strong, with specialty brewers and roasters found in almost every quadrant of the city. Roots has found its home in the Northwest quadrant, bringing a new coffee adventure in a location that was seldom with specialty coffee.

“There is a way you can reach people and show them love through coffee here that you simply can’t other places,” said Root. “There is a sense of comfort and belonging surrounding coffee shops and real sense of community. There seemed to be a lack in the northwest community for a coffee shop devoted to service and quality of product. We came to fill that gap.”

Roots Coffee Shop came to fruition in 2014, as Root was managing a coffee shop on the East side of the state. After feeling what she described as a “call” to Grand Rapids, she was joined by Austin Radebaugh, a recent graduate at the time, to start a new coffee venture.

“Our mission here at Roots Brew Shop is service. We want to serve all customers with grace and respect. We want to serve our fellow employees so as to create an environment that allows for great customer service. We strive to serve the community in all the ways we are able. We are here for the community to build community,” said Root.

Root and her team at Roots Brew strive to create a welcoming space for patrons and community members, already becoming that within the area.

For Roots, not only is the shop creating a sense of union within the community, the community has also welcomed the shop.

“Before we even opened the community here was great. We received so much support from people helping us to bring this dream to reality. Experts in various fields made themselves available to us to answer all the questions we had and point us in the right direction. We were able to work with GROW (Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women) to obtain the rest of our funding through a micro-loan. GROW has continued to support us with various resources and classes,” said Root.

The shop is currently applying to stand as an ArtPrize 2016 venue, with hopes to house artists for the art competition this fall.

“There are some great opportunities to work with community to use our space for their events and we look forward to being able to that.”

Roots Brew Shop is located 600 7th St NW in Grand Rapids.

About the Author

Mayra Monroy

Mayra Monroy

Mayra Monroy is studying communication and journalism at Aquinas College. A Texas native, she enjoys studying communication culture and the arts in West Michigan. She currently resides in Grand Rapids and works as a editor-in-chief for Aquinas’ collegiate student newspaper and a freelance journalist.