Coffee shops in Grand Rapids are popping up more quickly than ever. With all kinds of new places around town, it's hard to keep up with what Grand Rapids coffee shops there are to check out, so two of the city's top entrepreneurs and creatives joined forces to make it a whole lot easier. Nicole Kosheba (@nico_sheba) and Santiago Gomez (@santiagoproperties) are the authors behind the digital guide book Espresso the Love, which breaks down all of Grand Rapids' best coffee spots. Read on to find out more about Nicole and Santiago, their new book, and what they love most about Grand Rapids, Michigan.
How long have you called Grand Rapids home?
Nicole: Roughly 20 years
Santiago: 25 years, 10 months and 2 days
What inspired you to write Espresso the Love?
Nicole: We're both coffee lovers who love exploring our quickly growing city. In the book's introduction, we mention that there was a day where we were looking for a "hidden gem"
coffee shop - something we hadn't yet discovered. That moment sparked the idea and the rest is history!
Santiago: Like Nicole mentioned, that day we were searching for a "hidden gem" that we hadn't yet discovered really started the conversation and ideas flowed from there.
Do you focus solely on locally-owned coffee shops?
I love that it breaks it down by neighborhood, which makes it easy to read. How do the coffee shops between Grand Rapids neighborhoods differ?
Nicole: I'm not sure that the neighborhoods necessarily encompass coffee shops with a similar vibe, but, there are certain coffee shops that are long known neighborhood staples for example; Sparrows on Wealthy, Common Ground on the East end of Fulton, The Bitter End on the West end of Fulton.
Santiago: I'd say we brought the neighborhood aspect into play more as a way of making it easier to read like you mentioned. People tend to go to coffee shops that are near where they live, so breaking it down by neighborhood just seemed logical.
Right now, this is available in digital, which is great if you’re on the go. Do you guys plan to publish a printed version as well?
Nicole: We have certainly looked into it! :-)
Santiago: Stay tuned ;-)
What do you love most about Grand Rapids?
Nicole: I love that Grand Rapids is a growing city and that we get to be a part of it's growth. I also love the cleanliness. Whenever we travel we always include some city exploration - we've been to some really great places, yet time and time again, we come back to Grand Rapids and it always feels good to be back; the air is clean, the streets and sidewalks are busy, but clean. It's great. All large cities eventually encounter challenges with trash and dirtiness, I hope that as GR continues to grow we as a community will continue to find ways to maintain the beauty that is here.
Santiago: I love the small town community feel, yet it's still big enough to have a variety of really excellent restaurants, breweries, and of course, coffee shops.
Grand Rapids has grown so much in the last decade. What’s the biggest change you’ve noticed?
Nicole: There are so many new restaurants and shops popping up that we can't keep track. On top of that, I've notice a significant amount of increased traffic everywhere we go.
Santiago: All of the neighborhoods, including the ones that some may have once considered to be less desirable, are becoming vibrant and thriving.
Do you think you’ll release other types of guides for Grand Rapids?
Nicole: Perhaps! We haven't ruled it out! :)
Santiago: Stay tuned ;-)
Last but not least, do you have a personal favorite coffee shop feature in the book?
Nicole: Aaahhh the question that everyone asks! :-) Honestly, I have my favorites, but the whole coffee experience is so nuanced and subjective that it wouldn't be fair for me to promote any one over the others. I keep telling people that that is up to them to decide, and I encourage readers to do the same- go visit some of these shops and determine what you like best :-)
Santiago: It's hard to pick a favorite!!
About the author
Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer, comedian, and television producer who has been featured on Amazon, truTV, The New York Times, Matador Network, BUST Magazine, Tiplr, ARTRPRNR Magazine, YourTango, Thought Catalog, GoMad Nomad, Mashable, The Daily Mail UK, the Cannes Film Festival, LaughFest, Women's Lifestyle Magazine, and the Funny Women Festival LA. For more info visit: http://www.jillzwarensteyn.weebly.com