Church-backed coffee shop and craft beer bar to open in Ypsilanti

Coming this spring, Ypsilanti residents and visitors will have a new place to sip a cup of joe, meet with like-minded people and fill up on craft beer, all thanks to a local church. Though churches and bars aren't typically in business together, the forthcoming Cultivate is set to break the mold. The social enterprise, backed by Grace Ann Arbor Church, will offer drinks, snacks and community connections, but not, says director Ryan Wallace, any type of agenda. 

"The church is the people. And the first thing that people are called to do is to create good in the world," says Wallace. "The whole point of this is how do we love our community?"

For Cultivate, creating good includes having a transparent business model and open books, as well as hosting community events, sourcing locally, creating a community garden, supporting clean water efforts worldwide and more. It also means offering patrons genuinely good products.

"The team we have gathered is obsessed with quality," Wallace says. "We want to make sure that we have the best service and products. They need to be excellent."

The public will be able to test that quality this spring. Now under renovations, the 2,400 square foot Depot Town location is set to open for coffee on May 1, with the bar operations to follow in the summer. Wallace estimates Cultivate will employ, in addition to its current three staff members, up to six part-time staff. Its web presence, including a website, Facebook and Instagram accounts, will launch this Friday. 

Source: Ryan Wallace, Cultivate 
Writer: Natalie Burg
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