If you’re anything like me, a day doesn’t officially start until you’ve started drinking the first cup of coffee of the day. There’s nothing comparable to the aroma of fresh coffee and the sound of a full brew. Studies show that coffee provides health benefits towards preventing cancer, and protecting your heart, for example. Simpatico Coffee, one of the indoor vendors for the new Downtown Market Grand Rapids, does just that—providing a coffee with your health and wellness in mind.
In speaking with Alex Fink, founder of Simpatico Coffee, I learned of the possibility behind a coffee that not only tastes good, but is smooth, low in acidity, earth-friendly, and affordable too! Simpatico (which means ‘nice’ in Spanish) Coffee’s mission is simple: “nice. smooth. low acid. delicious.”
Kristin Coppens: Where did the idea behind Simpatico Coffee come from?
Alex Fink: I was traveling through Mexico and found myself in this beachside café having coffee one morning. Like many other people, coffee starts to bother my stomach after more than a cup or two; this café’s coffee didn’t do that at all, and it was delicious too! I knew there was a market for a coffee like that in the United States. I wanted to provide a product that was better and smoother than what was already readily available.
KC: Why the Downtown Market? What does being involved with that mean for your business?
AF: The Downtown Market spells innovation in a number of ways. The vendors are providing innovative products and the market is somewhat of a food innovation hub. I wanted to be a part of that as my vision aligns with [the other vendors]. We are currently in the midst of opening our store in Holland, preparing for our Downtown Market spot and being present at various farmers markets in the region. We’re busy, but we’re aligning ourselves with projects that inspire innovation and synergy between businesses. The store in Holland, for example, will be more of the food hub of the two, and has partnerships with locals like Gammy’s Pies, and more.
KC: What makes Simpatico Coffee unique to others in the industry?
AF: We provide an all-around good product. First of all, we do all of our own importing. Our coffee is bold, but it’s smooth instead of bitter. In fact, we are really one of only five coffee producers in the United States providing a product that is gentle on the stomach and low in acid. These notions are the driving force behind our business philosophy.
KC: Why is your particular vision/mission important for West Michigan, and the state of Michigan as a whole?
AF: Historically, West Michigan has not been a foodie region—there are a large number of chain restaurants. However, this is changing. West Michigan is giving attention and placing importance on local restaurants and local farmers. People are paying more attention to food. Places like the Downtown Market provide a venue for showing individuals how easy it is to use local and fresh products. We’re turning the corner on food innovation; vendors can tell individuals, and chefs from local restaurants, where we’re sourcing our products, and how to try new and inventive things.
KC: What can we expect from Simpatico Coffee, or what are you most excited to show the public?
AF: I’m most excited to begin introducing our brand to the public. Behind the scenes, we’ve been working like mad to perfect our vision, our product, and our brand. By doing so, we want to show a level of excellence at the very beginning of opening that we plan to uphold. Simply speaking, Simpatico Coffee is innovation and quality at an extremely fair price.
KC: What is your favorite type of coffee or drink that you offer?
AF: I can honestly say that I like them all. My favorite, though, is a black and tan, or medium and dark roast as they have the longest flavor profiles. We also have a Hawaiian Hazelnut that is really good. We roast all of our coffee fresh every week, which guarantees the best tasting coffee. We also have a number of fresh brewed teas. My aim is to really keep people on their toes!
Check out Simpatico Coffee when the Downtown Market opens later this summer! Not in Grand Rapids or Holland? You can order their coffee online too.
Photo credit: Grand Rapids Downtown Market