Coffeehouse #3: Sweetland

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Last weekend I ran a 5K with some work friends in Grand Rapids. In case you don’t know, Grand Rapids is the city of cool here in Southwest Michigan. While this area is a beautiful slice of Americana with much to offer for the vacation traveler wanting to slow down, locals desire a little more boil to their simmer. Grand Rapids roils in comparison.

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The 5k was really fun. Runners were encouraged to wear their pajamas but I never noticed that on the website until I got there. There was a festival afterwards featuring local music, food trucks, hot chocolate and, of course, Michigan’s most famous product – microbrews.

Since I was in the land of cool, I knew I must try to check off a coffeehouse. A Google search for “coffee around me” led me to Sweetland. I was a little confused because the reviews and Google told me it was a coffeehouse, but it was a candy shop. My friendly barista Jack told me they had just added the coffee shop to this location to replace the ice cream department. I have to agree that coffee season up here in the land of the frozen north is much longer than ice cream season. Seems like a good move to me.

 

The quaint little section of the family-owned candy shop was brand new and featured tables made from the wood floor of a bowling alley. Everything was sparkly clean, and I was the only walk-up visitor at 4 PM on a Saturday. The drive-thru was hopping. Jack made me a mocha with Madcap coffee. If that sounds familiar, that’s because the last coffeehouse I visited in Niles featured Madcap coffee as well. I must visit one of the Madcap locations since this coffee seems to be the foundation for a number of semi-local coffeehouses.

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A visit to their website tells me that Sweetland Candies has been an integral part of the Grand Rapids community since 1919. I like that they are open to innovative ideas to grow their business, and a lovely little coffeehouse seems like a great modern addition to their portfolio. Chocolate and coffee are delicious together.

The mocha was delightfully classic and not too sweet. I can’t stand mochas with so much chocolate and sugar that it drowns out the taste of the coffee. This one was perfectly balanced. I asked if Madcap provides their recipes, but Jack said they have their own. They had a number of unique flavor combinations, and I’ll have to stop by to try some more in the future.

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If you are in Grand Rapids, I recommend you stop by one of their coffee shop locations. I visited the North Plainfield store. If you stop by, tell Jack hi for me!

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