One year and one day after its original building at 1530 Madison Ave. was lost in a fire,
Rising Grinds Cafe is reopening at its new and improved LINC space on 1167 Madison Ave.
Described as a community-based social enterprise cafe, Rising Grinds Cafe provides job opportunities for young residents in the Madison Square neighborhood, aiming to empower young adults with these employment and training opportunities through meaningful work and community partnerships with organizations including Bethany Christian Services, Building Bridges Professional Services, Double O Supply and Craftsman, and Tabernacle Community Church.
Justin Beene is founder and director of the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation
, which is comprised of the organizations listed above, and says that the fire at Rising Grinds Cafe one year ago was heartbreaking for both the young people who were designing and building it, and those set to work there.
“We have faced and overcome this major setback and now are ready to move forward with the project and be an inspiration in the neighborhood,” he says. “We have added new partners, a great menu and have created over eight sustainable jobs with this venture.”
Completed by neighborhood young and contractors, the renovated kitchen and eating area features furniture provided by Steelcase, complete with free WiFi. The new space also includes a renovated outside eating area for the summer months. The new Rising Grinds Cafe features both a breakfast and lunch menu with coffee drinks designed in partnership with Ferris Coffee & Nut Co.
All of Rising Grinds Cafe’s youth employees with receive ServSafe Managerial Certification and an additional customer services and sales credential through the National Retail Federation, and the cafe will work very closely with Bethany Christian Services to continue to provide youth with other support services.
“We are so thankful to all the staff, partners, and community members who have supported us and who have been present with us in our time of loss, encouraging us to get back on our feet to keep this dream alive,” Beene says. “Truly, we are living our name, Rising Grinds, as we rise out of the ashes.”
To learn more about Rising Grinds Cafe or the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation, visit www.rgcafe.org
Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Rising Grinds Cafe