STURGEON BAY – For two and a half years, Pinky Promise Coffee Roasters owner Sean Grorich has been roasting high-end, mostly organic coffee beans from responsible and sustainable sources and selling them online and in shops around Door County.
Now, those who want to sample Grorich’s work can do so by the cup.
Pinky Promise has opened a coffee shop in the front half of its roastery on Madison Avenue on the west side of downtown Sturgeon Bay, where it will offer coffees, cappuccinos, lattes and other coffee drinks, some a little unique and all made with fresh Pinky Promise brews. The shop, which also offers pastries and healthy options, opened May 13 but a grand opening celebration is planned for this Memorial Day weekend.
The official opening of the shop is the culmination of a dream for the former nurse anesthetist with a lifelong love of coffee, along with more than two years of hard work and waiting.
Grorich bought the century-old building housing the roastery and shop in early 2020 − shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. He said he wanted to start the coffee shop along with the roastery, but the pandemic forced him to concentrate first on the roasting.
“Originally when I bought the building, I had roasting and a shop in mind,” Grorich said. “But the pandemic just kind of overwhelmed me, took a toll on how long it took to renovate this space. I just focused on getting the coffee out, getting our name out.”
So Grorich was able to start roasting beans in September 2020 while working and renovating to make the coffee shop happen. Pinky Promise beans aren’t flavored, as Grorich said he prefers to bring out the beans’ natural flavors via roasting.
Grorich said about 85% of the responsibly grown beans Pinky Promise roasts are organic, and he gets some from several women-owned farms.
Also, several of the farms donate proceeds of their sales to charitable causes, and Grorich has started a Coffee With a Cause effort in which 12% of the proceeds from all seven of the blended roasts Pinky Promise currently offers go to a designated local cause.
Meanwhile, Grorich began bringing Pinky Promise to local farmers markets, and the interaction with his coffee customers helped him refocus on opening the shop.
“The farmers markets just reminded me of why I got into coffee,” Grorich said. “(I thought,) yeah, I still wanna do a shop, because it’s fun talking to people about coffee.”
Besides coffees, the shop can offer more than lattes, cappucinos and the other usual coffee drinks. Grorich said they’re doing a Cubano, which is a shot of espresso with a little bit of brown sugar on top for a hint of sweetness, and a Cortadito, which uses the Cubano as the base for a latte. The shop also has a frother, which Grorich said creates the same effect as a steamer but without heating the liquid, so the beverage can be served cold.
The shop also has a selection of pastries and small bites from local businesses such as Scaturo’s Baking Company, Sunflower Bakery and Door County Love Granola. Grorich said with his health care background, he’s also bringing in health bars and protein bars, as well as protein powders customers can have mixed into their drinks.
And for Grorich, the shop is as much about the atmosphere and camaraderie of the shared coffee experience as it is about the coffee itself. Customers can not only talk coffee with the staff but also relax and step into the ARTicipation Studio and Gallery that shares space in the building with Pinky Promise while sipping their beverages.
“It’s about the barista and customer having a good discussion about coffee over the countertop, as opposed to a big-box coffee shop,” Grorich said. “You can hang out and view art if you want.”
Pinky Promise Coffee is at at 60 S. Madison Ave., Sturgeon Bay. It is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. For more information, visit pinkypromisecoffee.com or email email@example.com.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-562-8900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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