Three Best Locally-Owned Coffee Shops in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids, Michigan might now be known as "Beer City, USA," but it is also home to some amazing locally-owned coffee shops. Whether you live in Grand Rapids or are here to visit, it's imperative for all coffee and/or tea-lovers to stop at the three following locally-owned shops:
  1. the bitter end coffeehouse - Situated in what was once a branch location for Kent State Bank, a historic Victorian-era building on Grand Rapids' West Side. The coffeehouse exclusively features fair trade and organic espresso and is open 24/7. A few blocks from Grand Valley State University's downtown Pew Campus, this is the perfect spot for students to utilize the shop's free WiFi and get their caffeine on during all-nighters. In addition to their vast beverages menu, bitter end also sells an assortment of baked goods, including massive vegan muffins that are well worth the price and a delectable "must" for anyone, vegan or not. The shop also has a "leave a book, take a book" shelf and various tabletop and card games to play for amusement while sipping on a cup of coffee or tea. (They formerly had a Ouija board in case you wanted to summon Beelzebub or Pazuzu; however, I did not see it on my last visit, so Blockus 3D and the under-7 version of Guess Who? had to suffice. So bring your own Ouija board.)
  2. Global Infusion - If you're in the East Hills area and are looking for a fun, diverse fair trade coffee and tea shop, be sure to stop in to Global Infusion, located just off the corner of Diamond and Lake Drive. Started in 2004, Global Infusion not only features a variety of drinks made to order but also has dozens of buy-able, take-home tea and spice options and locally-crafted merchandise, ranging from knitted attire to bees wax candles. If you are purchasing a drink, you have the option of substituting soy, almond, or coconut milk instead of dairy. The shop also hosts a variety of workshops. (Upcoming workshops include Kombucha Class and Ayurvedic Herb Class.)
  3. The Sparrows - Another historic Grand Rapids location to now feature a locally-owned coffee shop is The Sparrows. Once an early 20th Century hardware store, this coffee shop has a quaint, quiet, and friendly atmosphere fit for all ages. They boast the privilege of being the first shop in town to feature MadCap Coffee and now feature three-month guest roasters. Also, for pastry lovers, The Sparrows hosts a wide assortment of locally-produced pastry items. The Sparrows also puts on workshop classes and caters to the arts. (We all know that coffee and art go pretty well together!)
Wherever you are at in Grand Rapids, there is a locally-owned coffee shop that is ready to welcome you with friendly atmospheres and decent prices on fair-trade and organic coffee and tea items.