Blue Owl Coffee to open East Lansing shop, roastery in Old Town this month

Rachel Greco
Lansing State Journal

LANSING – Blue Owl Coffee Co. will expand its footprint this year, opening three new coffee shops and a roastery by May.

Co-owner Nick Berry said the new locations — in East Lansing, Lansing's Old Town and Grand Rapids — are part of efforts to expand the REO Town-based business's reach to 10 cities in 10 years.

That's been a goal for owners Berry, Rich Whitman and Adam Klein since the business took their operation from a coffee bike to a brick-and-mortar shop on South Washington Avenue in 2017.

Blue Owl will open its new 3,000-square-foot East Lansing location at 213 Ann St., Suite C by the end of the month. This month the business will also open the doors of its new roastery located at 1236 Turner St. in Old Town, the former home of Bloom Coffee Roasters.

A coffee shop also within its Old Town location will be open by May. So, too, will Blue Owl's new Grand Rapids storefront in the city's Northwest Neighborhood.

Nick Berry of Blue Owl Coffee Co. in the sitting area of his storefront on S. Washington Avenue in Lansing April 10, 2017. The business will open an East Lansing location and another in Old Town Lansing later this month.

The new Old Town roastery will be under the direction of Blue Owl Head Roaster Gage Jackson. Creations will include a house roast called "REO Town Joe" – after the nickname Ransom Eli Olds would use for area factory workers at his plants. Beans roasted there will be brewed in all of Blue Owl Coffee Co.'s locations, Berry said.

Ownership has invested more than a half million dollars in the expansion, Berry said. He added watching the business grow has been "incredibly fun."

"Our goal is to really engage communities when they're at Blue Owl," he said.

Berry literally dreamed up the coffee business concept. Its name was inspired by a "giant blue owl" Berry dreamed about, who seemed to be trying to tell him something.

"I wanted to open a coffee shop since I was 15 years old," Berry said. After his dream he began making plans to move forward.

Berry said after the new Lansing area and Grand Rapids locations open, leadership will assess where future Blue Owl Coffee Co. storefronts should be established.


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Contact Rachel Greco at 517-528-2075 or at rgreco@lsj.com. Follow her on Twitter @GrecoatLSJ.