Water Street Coffee Joint roasts Kalamazoo

Before August, I knew there were some good things happening in Kalamazoo’s foodie scene but little did I realize just how much was happening. Then I had the pleasure of participating in a two-day farm and foodie tour of the area. It’s chock full of farms, local businesses, restaurants, breweries and co-ops. More importantly, the tour introduced ways in which Kalamazoo is nurturing the farm to table movement and supporting local small businesses.

One of those businesses, Water Street Coffee Joint, bases its entire business and customer service philosophy on supporting local. Celebrating their 20th year in business, Water Street Coffee Joint started as a dream of historic restoration and pet project for owner Mark Smutek. Today, Water Street Coffee has evolved into three different coffee shops, a full commissary kitchen, and a Roastery.

9826124734_b89908e033Water Street Coffee offers a diverse variety of products for the community to enjoy. In the shops, they provide house roasted coffee, a full espresso bar, loose-leaf tea, hot chocolate, cider, smoothies, iced tea, and more. They also have breakfast, lunch, and dinner options like fresh baked goods, soups, sandwiches, salads, and desserts.

“Our kitchen makes all of our food options in house by hand with real ingredients. Catering options are also available; like all of our departments, quality, community and creativity are at the forefront,” explains Liz Comrie, General Manager of Café Operations at Water Street Coffee Joint. Additionally, as a full service vendor, Water Street Coffee supplies their wholesale accounts with coffees and teas, as well as supplies, equipment, and accessories.

For their coffee, they receive a lot from brokers, but some from direct trade, like the Finca Hartmann farm in Palo Verde, Panama. For other food items, they work hard to support Michigan producers. For example, Comrie says, “For the food, some of our local vendors include Deleo Farms and Understory Farm and Orchard in Bangor, Crisp Country Acres in Holland, Scobey’s Produce in Wayland, Jack and Jill’s Maple Hill Farm and Wanda Miller in Paw Paw, and many more.”

Being an integral part of Kalamazoo is essential to the mission of Water Street Coffee Joint and they are honored, as a business, to be a part of the growing community for the past 20 years. “I hope that we offer [the community] a home away from home, a port in the storm, a resting place, an urban oasis, a place to retreat, to study, to enjoy good company, to experience unique art, to converse with genuine people, and to eat delicious food and drink delicious coffee,” boasts Comrie.

Looking for a way to support and celebrate with Water Street Coffee? On Saturday, September 28th, they will be having their 20th Anniversary celebration at their downtown Kalamazoo location. Take part in coffee demos, tastings, happy hours, free samples, live music, and a number of different giveaways, like a year’s supply of coffee! Find out more on their newly launched website, and join the community in celebration.

What is your favorite part of Water Street Coffee Joint?

Photo credit: Kristin Coppens

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