We have liftoff: Ground Control Coffee Roasters opens in downtown Farmington

What’s happening: We have good news for those following the development of downtown Farmington’s burgeoning coffee culture. The second of three locally-owned, independent coffee shops expected to open this late summer and early fall has done just that. Ground Control Coffee Roasters is now open for business.

What it is: Ground Control Coffee Roasters is a specialty coffee shop that roasts its own coffee beans, offering the quality coffee and espresso-based drinks you might expect, but also some creative twists, too. They have their own nitro cold brew coffee, which can be ordered on its own but they also use it to make drinks like the Cafe Paloma, a coffee mocktail. There’s also the espresso tonic. Baked goods are provided by Cannelle Pastries. The shop is owned and operated by a trio of friends and coffeeheads; Trent Chapman, James McLaughlan, and Brandon Sharp.

Ground Control Coffee Roasters is located at 33319 Grand River Ave. in downtown Farmington.Where it is: Ground Control opens in one of the Grand River storefronts owned by GLP Financial Group, which itself recently celebrated the opening of their headquarters at the historic Farmington State Savings Bank building. The multi-million-dollar redevelopment began in early 2020 and wrapped this August.

[Related: Read “See how the redevelopment of this historic Farmington bank turned out — and why it matters” on Metromode.]

A third place (is better than it sounds): As for the shop itself, McLaughlan says the goal is to make Ground Control a “third place” for people. He’s referencing the community building theory that people need a third place, like a coffee shop or restaurant, to complement their lives in their first place (home) and second place (work). Ground Control hired CT Construction, the firm responsible for building out Sabbath Coffee Roasters in downtown Clawson, to help achieve their “third place” goals. What results is a “Nordic mid-mod”-style cafe that is light and bright with natural wood accents. A vinyl record player helps to provide the atmosphere.

What they’re saying: “We bring a lot of industry experience, as well as an obsessive team as far as research and development goes,” says McLaughlan. “The fact that we're roasting our own coffee — the fact that we're all pretty obsessed with learning about specialty coffee and tasting different coffees, learning different processing techniques, trying different roast profiles, all this stuff — I think that makes for an extra level of care in the cup. We have our hands in more phases of the production of it.”

Keep an eye out: Ground Control is the second of three independent coffee shops expected to open in downtown Farmington this season. Apothecary Coffee & Espresso opened in August; Blue Hat Coffee is expected to open later this fall.

[Related: Read “Meet the entrepreneurs who are about to turn Farmington into a coffee destination” on Metromode.]

Ground Control Coffee Roasters is located at 33319 Grand River Ave. in downtown Farmington.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.