Squibb Coffee Bar: A coffee shop with a community of its own

By Chucky Blackmore on February 3rd, 2017 / Comments

Acknowledging that Grand Rapids is a breeding ground for great tasting coffee is surely an understatement.  No matter how you like your coffee served, creativity finds its way into every cup in West Michigan.  Of course there are preferred franchises like Starbucks, Biggby, and Dunkin’ Donuts, however family-owned coffee shops are gaining a lot of attention lately.  One of these Grand Rapids businesses is Squibb Coffee Bar.  

Squibb Coffee Bar opened up shop on Nov. 30, 2016 in the 1,200-square-foot storefront at 955 Wealthy St. SE.  Upon entering, customers are welcomed by a 18-foot mural of a beautifully painted squid.  Why a squid, you might ask? Well, it is a play on the last name of the shop’s ownersSquibb.  

Our seating is friendly for small or large groups, but also perfect for individuals who want a great window seat or to cozy up in our booth and work for hours,” said co-owner Mallory Squibb.

Squibb Coffee Bar wouldn’t be complete without a bar, which is the business’s most likeable spot, where workers can converse with local coffee drinkers.  There is space for everyone at Squibb, including friends, family, co-workers, students, and even runners who are finished with their workout and want to enjoy a refreshment.  

Mallory and her father, Dennis, had always wanted to open up a coffee bar.  

“We love the community aspect of coffee that brings people together” said Squibb. “We thought Grand Rapids would be the perfect place to start this project.”

Her father has an extensive business background, having held an executive role for a fortune 500 company for many years.  Combining his business experience and her experience with food, the father-daughter team are constantly working to give Grand Rapids what it wants.

With that being said, Squibb Coffee Bar will be obtaining a liquor license in the coming months to offer not only coffee, but wine and cheese as well.  Beer, ciders, and small plates will also be served.

Currently, the shop’s coffee is roasted by Populace Coffee Co. in Bay City, MI.  To collaborate with surrounding businesses and support locally, Squibb Coffee Bar also features a guest roaster each month.  All of their coffee syrups are made in house, and one of the guest favorites right now is the Cinnamon Plum Tea Latte.  

“My staff is amazingly creative when it comes to curating the perfect beverage,” stated Squibb, who takes great pride in her team’s efforts.  

Even though the Squibb family has fully funded their business, they extend great gratitude to the Grand Rapids community for approving their liquor license, which will help to improve the quality of business in the Wealthy Street district and offer greater options to a wider demographic of people.

Squibb’s advice is not in short supply when it comes to starting and maintaining a business.  

“[B]ecome involved in the community and support other small businesses. Making connections with the neighborhood and community has been extremely important in allowing us to open our doors and have a great amount of regulars. The amount of support we have received from other local businesses has been great.”  

In addition to offering coffee, wine, and cheese in the near future, Squibb would like to offer more events, like wine and cheese classes and collaborating with local roasters. She wants her business to create and achieve a community space where people can enjoy unique and high quality food and beverages.  

One of her former employers once said, “Never fail to astonish your guests,” so she believes in constantly changing, growing, and moving forward.  

Next time you are in the mood for a uplifting beverage, a study area, or simply a place to converse with friends, come to Squibb Coffee Bar to experience what community feels like.  

“As a company we plan to be in Grand Rapids a very long time,” stated Squibb. “We are committed to excellence and maintaining a very high standard of service and product.”

About the Author

Chucky Blackmore

Chucky Blackmore

Chucky Blackmore is a fifth-year studying English and Education, with a minor in ESL at Aquinas College. Chucky is also a Resident Assistant and plays lead guitar in Grand Rapids based band Velcrofibs.