When we started publishing Sprudge in 2009, it seemed like most—really the vast majority—of stories we wrote focused on coffee happening in big cities. Cities like Chicago, New York, Melbourne and Seattle had the majority of our focus. Well, what a difference eight years makes, because here in 2017 the stories have migrated to places like Honolulu, Folsom, Albuquerque, Charlotte, and today to Kalamazoo, Michigan.

There’s lots of reasons why coffee is doing so well in places like Kalamazoo—heritage buildings with sweeping high copper ceilings certainly help—but in the end it all comes back to access. It’s never been easier to get the great green coffee and quality equipment necessary to launch a new company, and we hope this feature series on Sprudge continues to serve as an inspiration and reference point for coffee entrepreneurs around the world.

Today in Kalamazoo, tomorrow in your own home town. Let’s meet one of these new companies together, shall we? This is Civil House.

As told to Sprudge by Mack Chrisman.

For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?

At the street level, Civil House can be described as your standard, customer-focused, multi-roaster coffee shop, with its well curated array of pastries and fancy toasts. And to some people that’s all we may ever be. But on a much deeper level, Civil House is the culmination of years spent dreaming; for both Mack Chrisman (Designer/Manager) and Kevin Romeo (Owner).

Can you tell us a bit about the new space?

Our space is on the lower level of a three-story brick building in downtown proper. Built in 1901, our space sports high, copper tile ceilings and original hardwood floors.

What’s your approach to coffee?

My focus for years has been on coffee science, hands-on brewing, and manual everything. But during that time I have noticed the lost opportunities for customer interaction. Civil House will focus on portraying the balance between those two worlds.

Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?

Synesso Hydra MVP, Mahlkönig grinders galore, FETCO Drip, and that’s all we have solidified at this juncture.

What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?

August of this summer!

Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?

Civil House is the sister company of Rhino, a story telling company in Kalamazoo. Rhino uses video, photo, and animation to help businesses communicate. So needless to say, we’re gonna have media on lockdown.

Thank you!

No. Thank you.

Civil House is located at 344 North Rose Street in Kalamazoo, MI 49006. Check out their official website and find them on Twitter.

The Build-Outs Of Summer is an annual series on Sprudge. Live the thrill of the build all summer long in our Build-Outs feature hub. Got a Build-Out of your own? Get in touch.

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