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Specialty coffee emerges in Grand Rapids’ west side with new roastery, cafe COURTESY PHOTO

Specialty coffee emerges in Grand Rapids’ west side with new roastery, cafe

BY MiBiz Staff Wednesday, May 10, 2017 04:17pm

GRAND RAPIDS — As bars and restaurants continue to appear in Grand Rapids west of the Grand River, specialty coffee sellers have also started to get in on the action.

Longtime East Hills business Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newstand is preparing to open its second location at 442 Bridge St. NW later this summer, and the company announced this week that it will also add coffee roasting to the west side location.

“The decision to start roasting our own coffee was out of our commitment to providing our customers with high-quality coffee,” Sparrows owner Lori Slager Wenzel said in a statement. “Our new roastery will allow us to supply both Sparrows locations, expand to wholesale accounts and educate the community about specialty coffee.”

The company said it will begin roasting this summer with coffee beans sourced from Central and South America and Kenya.

The coffee roasting program will be led by Julia Lancer, a veteran of myriad northern California coffee roasters, the company said in a statement.

As the Sparrows continues to push ahead with its expansion to the burgeoning Bridge Street corridor, another long-time coffee shop and roastery with a presence along Wealthy Street will formally open on the west side.

The Rower’s Club, a new concept from Grand Rapids-based Rowster Coffee Inc. plans to hold its grand opening celebration on May 20, according to a statement.

The 1,400-square-foot store will be located in the Fulton Place mixed-use project developed by Rockford Construction Company Inc. The store is just west of Grand Valley State University’s Pew Campus.

“We wanted to make sure that we offered welcoming spaces for everyone,” owner Kurt Stauffer, said in a statement. “This is a great place to meet up with friends, study, or to enjoy a great cup of coffee on your own.”

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