The countdown to specialty coffee in Farmington, Michigan, reached zero earlier this fall as the first coffee shop from Ground Control Coffee Roasters achieved liftoff.
Through a rocket-bean logo door, customers pass into a long rectangular space featuring a 5-kilo electric Toper TKM-SX 5 roaster at the far end.
“We wanted customers to have the opportunity to interact with the process a little bit, even if just visually,” Ground Control Coffee Co-Owner Brandon Sharp recently told Daily Coffee News. “We wanted to give the customers as much space as possible while keeping them connected to the creative process.”
Coordinated materials throughout the space tie the public areas to the flurry of creativity behind the bar. For example, zebra wood accents of a prominently positioned 2-group Synesso MVP Hydra espresso machine are echoed by the bar surface and a communal coffee table. Amid the tunnel of spacey greys and creams, handmade emerald green tiles line the front of the bar while matching velvet chairs.
The company’s name is a nod to a David Bowie song, and a turntable behind the bar accommodates the warm flow of music throughout the shop.
“We placed the espresso machine front and center on the bar and designated a large section for a slow bar where we can engage with customers,” said Sharp. “We opted for a minimalist mid-mod look, sourcing furniture from mid-mod restoration enthusiasts. We kept things clean and organized visually.”
Locally baked pastries, house-made muffins and overnight oats fill out a small food menu, while Sharp plans to continue growing the coffee operation, potentially for wholesale accounts.
“Having had my own ‘coffee awakening’ eight years ago after trying 49th Parallel’s Epic Espresso, I decided to give home roasting a shot. Now I want to create those same memories for our customers and community,” said Sharp. “Farmers of specialty coffee have taken great care in getting the coffee we seek into our hands, and it’s our goal to roast it in a way that honors that care.”
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Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.