If you venture down Fulton in Grand Rapids near Grand Valley, you'll come across the new Shift Coffee + Culture. While it's not unusual to find a coffee shop anywhere close to where college students regularly roam, Shift and its owner, Deanna Bossenbroek, have taken an intentional and refreshing approach.
Opened in December 2021, Shift Coffee + Culture is a coffee shop that aims to support other minority-owned businesses and to offer a chill environment where everyone can feel welcome, whether they're a coffee connoisseur or not.
"I have always worked from coffee shops and craved a chill hip vibe, so really I created this business for me and others like me," Bossenbroek explained, noting that Shift also offers waffles and pastries in addition to its coffee selection. "Shift is unique in that we do our due diligence in every partnership that we have. Each product that we sell has a blurb about the company that you are supporting and the face behind each product. It's important for us to represent a wide range of diversity in everything that we do."
Though Shift is relatively new to the coffee scene, Bossenbroek has long been planning its arrival, and carefully considering every single aspect of the experience it would offer.
"Every little detail has been thought through 100 times, from the decor to the books and magazines we offer," Bossenbroek said, noting the road to opening Shift didn't come without its obstacles. "I had a lot of challenges when trying to open. Really, I had to humble myself and go, 'Deanna, you don't know what you're doing and it's time to ask people for help.'"
And as Bossenbroek looks toward the future, she shared the two goals she has for Shift moving forward:
"To represent the Westside community by bringing diversity to the coffee scene and allowing all faces to feel comfortable in our space, and to continue hosting events that bring value to the community," she said. "We recently hosted a fundraiser for Ukraine and a Women's Entrepreneur Networking night."
Whether you're a student, are working remotely or want a chill vibe for a catch up over coffee with a friend, Shift should be on your radar.
"Come and see us. Work from our space, meet up with your friends, study. We love to see people doing life here," Bossenbroek said. "Every dollar that you spend here is helping a small, minority-owned business reach their goals."
Learn more at Shift Coffee + Culture.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.