While the calendar may say it's the last day of October, the weather seems to be a bit confused! Winter decided to arrive in Grinnell this week (I'm hopeful we'll have a 'fall' reprieve soon as I'm not a big winter fan!), which has caused Grinnellians to dig out winter gear, clear snow and ice and prepare for the next several months of the same. If you've been in the vicinity of 5th Avenue & Highway 146 this week, you may have also noticed increased vehicle traffic there as more people have been taking advantage of the new drive-thru coffee shop, Lucky Cat Coffee! The timing couldn't have been more perfect for entrepreneur, Sam Cox, to get her new venture opened up in preparation for these cold morning (and afternoon) temps!
We were happy to have played a small part in this particular venture. Beginning in the fall of 2016 our office, in conjunction with our partners at the City of Grinnell, co-hosted a number of focus group sessions in an effort to gain a better understanding of some of the things business owners and community members wanted to see in Grinnell. We heard many different things, from enhanced marketing for businesses and hospitality training to gathering spaces and destination events. We also heard some very specific businesses that were desired in the downtown which included a brewery (enter Peace Tree Brewing Company) and a bakery (enter Grin City Bakery) as well as a pharmacy and activity center.
In the spring of this year we reconvened this process, meeting with more community members to give them an update of our progress since the fall of 2016 while also asking for their feedback and next steps. In those meetings, we continued to hear about several specific businesses, including the desire for a drive-thru coffee shop. Enter Lucky Cat Coffee! While neither our office or the city recruited this business, the legwork completed through the focus group sessions gave reassurance that it was a venture worth exploring and one that would seemingly be supported by the community.
So now's your chance to support this new business venture, especially now that the weather has turned colder! Enjoy a cup of joe from one of Grinnell's newest businesses.
p.s. If you're interested in learning more about our downtown planning process, or are interested in exploring a possible business venture in downtown, please let me know as we'd love to share more and work with you!