The slow-pour coffee trend continues to heat up locally, with the opening of yet another café dedicated to individually crafted cups of Joe slated to open next month. Old Town-based Bloom Coffee Roasters has been roasting and distributing coffee beans for just about two years, but next month the business, co-founded by Jared Field and Cameron Russell, will expand into a full-service café at 1236-B Turner St. Field cites a miserable job market for journalism (touché) as the impetus for launching Bloom.
“The Monday after I graduated with a degree in journalism, I read that the Chicago Tribune had just laid off 300 employees,” Field said. “I realized I had to find a new employment route.”
Field applied for a variety of jobs around the state, finally accepting a packaging position at a Kalamazoo coffeehouse. The café’s roast master was let go shortly after Field came on board, so he took a shot at the new job opening.
“I fell in love with roasting and the art of coffee immediately,” he said. “The smells, the science behind roasting and brewing and the endless knowledge of an ever-evolving industry really inspired me. I treated the position less like a job and more like a lifestyle.”
Field said he realized the craft coffee business was a viable solo venture after attending Chicago’s annual Coffee Fest trade show. He liked the friendly nature of the industry and the accessibility to equipment and information. After initially setting up shop in REO Town, Bloom moved to Old Town when a prime location opened up on Turner Street, just a few doors north of barbecue hotspot Meat.
“The idea to open a café came pretty quickly,” Field said. “It was always a dream of mine to open a café, but we didn't realize that it would happen so soon in the life of our company.”
The business roasts about 150 to 200 pounds of beans per week, sourcing the beans from Colombia, Mexico, Ethiopia, Burundi, Kenya and Sumatra. The 1,000-square-foot space is still undergoing the transformation from a manufacturing space into a sit-down coffee shop. Field estimates the café will have about 30 seats and will feature two pour-over methods: the Hario V60, which brews one cup at a time, and Chemex carafe system, which is good for multiple people to share.
“People are very willing to wait and make sure that their barista is taking every step possible to make sure it's a delicious cup,” Field said. “There's a significant difference in a cup that's brewed from a Keurig and a cup that's been brewed in a pour-over brewer. It takes a while for your palate to trigger this realization, but once you drink enough specialty brewed coffee, there's really no going back.”
The menu will start with the basics: lattes, Americanos, macchiatos and cappuccinos. Those will be supplemented by pastries from Williamston’s Groovy Donuts, with additional vendors expected to be added later. The vision, Field said, is to create a comfortable work and relaxation space.
“The café will be a place that people can consider a second home, a getaway,” he said. “We'll always have great music playing and we’ll be ready to field questions and conversations.”
Locally, Bloom coffee beans are sold in Foods For Living, Old Town General Store and Monticello’s Market. It will also be on the shelves at the new Whole Foods in East Lansing. Additionally, Black Cat Bistro in East Lansing, Mark's Place in Eaton Rapids and the Cosmos in Old Town have the coffee on their menus.
“For the better part of the last century, America has been okay with the fact that coffee was just supposed to wake you up and get you through your workday,” Field said. “But isn't it much better when the cup is deliciously enjoyable? I think so.”
Fire Mountain in west Lansing has closed, and an online auction will be held until 3 p.m. today to sell its assets, including kitchen equipment, furniture and décor. This follows the news earlier this week that the restaurant’s parent company, Texas-based Buffets LLC, had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The auction will be held online at auctionnation.com.
Bloom Coffee Roasters 1236-B Turner St., Lansing (projected hours) 7 a.m.-5:30p.m. daily (517) 489-4046, bloomroasters.com