Our Story


Narrativality is an artisanal coffee roasting company aiming to reclaim the story of coffee by ethically sourcing, artfully roasting, and meticulously crafting jaw-dropping good coffee.

In a storyless world full of mourned and misplaced creativity, where chicken comes from a bucket and low prices matter more than people, our coffee is a kind of small rebellion, a tiny protest to the passive acceptance of detachment and mediocrity.

Our unrelenting love for handcrafting incredible coffee compels us to remember that coffee comes from somewhere. Coffee has a story with a beginning, middle, and end. We reclaim that story by honoring our connection with the farmers that grow our coffee, and by caring deeply about every aspect of the story from seed to cup.

Narrativality is where coffee and story find common ground. We think coffee is better and more meaningful that way. We think you will too.

 

Our Story:

I remember stealing a sip of my mom’s coffee as a kid.  It was lukewarm and milky brown.  I thought it tasted like dirt.  The next time I tried coffee I was a freshman in college ordering my first cappuccino from the library coffee shop.  Despite being warned by the barista, I expected the sugary gas station cappuccino, but it was not that.  I took a few sips and threw it away.  The summer after that I began working at a local coffee shop, where flavored coffee sold better than regular.  There I taught myself how to use the espresso machine and would make myself “lattes” daily.  In hindsight they weren’t much more than heated milk with a little espresso and lots of flavor.  Slowly but surely I increased the amount of espresso and decreased the amount of flavor shots.  The summer of my sophomore year of college I began to drink coffee made in a regular old Mr. Coffee coffeemaker.  I felt I was moving up in the world of coffee to be sure.  Somewhere in the midst of learning to like coffee I met Aaron, a regular coffee drinker since age 16 when he worked late nights and early mornings at the local grocery store.  We lived in neighboring apartments in college and frequently biked to campus together.  During that time we discovered our common love of coffee, and it accompanied us wherever we went.  It may not have been the best coffee, but we nonetheless loved it and appreciated it!  During our college years Aaron attended classes during the day and worked overnights.  Needless to say his schedule necessitated frequent stops at various coffee shops, and it didn’t take long before he fell in love with the atmosphere and culture within.  Eventually he happened upon a few that elevated his coffee experience to a whole other level leaving a permanent impression on him.  Once our stories collided and our love of coffee became common ground for us, we began dreaming about owning our own coffee shop some day.  Our story with coffee started before Aaron and I knew each other, but more importantly it has been a part of our story since the beginning of us.

We were married in 2006.  For our wedding, a friend of ours gifted us a beautiful glass candle holder with wishes for us written on slips of paper and placed inside to be remembered whenever a candle is lit.  The first wish was a place to call home.  The second was for beautiful children.  The third was for “Cromar’s Coffee Shop.” Now fast forward 7 years, a new house, new job, and two kids later, and there we were living a pretty normal life, enjoying the fulfillment of wishes one and two, and getting more and more particular about our morning beverage of choice.  In 2008 Aaron began researching how to roast his own coffee and soon we were the proud owners of a new (used) 1980’s Air Popper popcorn popper!  Purchasing green beans from an online coffee supplier, Aaron began to experiment with roasting the beans in the popcorn popper.  It was better than any coffee we’d had, but as our tastes refined the coffee left more and more to be desired.  One day Aaron mentioned this coffee roasting business plan he wrote as a sophomore in college for his Entrepreneurship 101 course, and I knew that meant he wanted to do this sooner than later.  I was excited because I had tabled the idea thinking it impossible until we were old and gray.  But in the early spring of 2013 we began seriously imagining and planning how to make our coffee dream a reality.  We were eager but both knew it was a long shot.  Nevertheless, Narrativality Coffee slowly began to take shape.  Sometimes we wonder how we actually ended up making this a reality, and the answer is we don’t really know.  What we do know is that we cashed in our retirement plan (contrary to the advice of financial planners everywhere) and emptied the meager contents of our bank account so we could invest in our business.  Then we made some more decisions and here we are.  In early 2014 we were able to purchase the San Franciscan Coffee Roaster.  Some people buy new cars, we bought a coffee roaster.

Then in the summer of 2015 it was time to take another massive step forward.  We completely renovated storefront space in Downtown Mount Pleasant, Michigan and in November 2015 opened The Coffee Room.  The Coffee Room is the public house of Narrativality Coffee, and houses our roasting operation as well as our lab.  Its name is in honor of our children, who when we had our roastery was in a tiny room in our residence would say, "Are you going to the coffee room daddy."

Our journey has led us to care passionately about coffee from beginning to end, some would say “from seed to cup.”  We only offer the best ethically-sourced specialty coffee we can get our hands on.  For us coffee is more than a caffeine boost in the morning.  It is about connecting to each other and the world around us in a caring and responsible way, and in that way reclaiming the story of coffee.  We are passionate about what we do and are looking forward to how our story will unfold with Narrativality Artisan Coffee Roasters.