Food Service & Agriculture, Real Estate, and Retail

Coffee company plans West Side roasting facility

May 10, 2017
| By Pat Evans |
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Sparrows Coffee bag
Courtesy Sparrows Coffee

A new coffee roastery is being planned for the West Side.

The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand said today it plans to open the facility along with the West Side location it expects to open this summer, at 442 Bridge St. NW.

The location, the company’s second, was announced earlier this year.

The Sparrows plans to source its green coffee beans from Central America, South America and Africa through Sweet Maria’s, Red Fox Coffee Merchants and La Bodega.

The Sparrows will use the roastery to supply its shops and expand into wholesale.

“The decision to start roasting our own coffee was out of our commitment to providing our customers with high-quality coffee,” said Lori Slager Wenzel, owner, The Sparrows.

The Sparrows’ roasting will be overseen by General Manager and Director of Coffee Julia Lancer, who moved to Grand Rapids from California in 2016. She worked in the California coffee industry for more than 15 years.

The 1,000-square-foot space will have room for 49 customers, and a Diedrich IR-7 roaster will be installed with the building’s renovations, expected to be completed this summer.

“I have been awarded the opportunity to build the roastery of my dreams,” Lancer said. “I plan to create an environment that is incredibly approachable, where everyone feels welcome. I am working on finding new ways to think about flavors and their perception that is fun and inviting for our community.”

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