Michigander band releases a special blend of coffee in partnership with Creation Coffee Co.

In a time when the live entertainment industry has canceled concerts indefinitely, it takes a certain drive to remain a relevant artist. Midland-born musician Jason Singer of the band Michigander is adjusting by turning to streaming options, and by brewing up a special project with Creation Coffee.

On Nov. 23, Creation Coffee co-owner Ben Marsh and Singer released a special brew of coffee, The Gander Blend.

“I’ve known Jason for a long time, and he and I have always kind of pushed each other after going after our goals,” Marsh says. “He has seen us grow the coffee business from the beginning. He was one of the first people that ever tried our coffee. I was one of the first people that ever listened to his music. It’s just been a cool friendship, and to be able to see each other's projects and passions grow and succeed. When he approached us about wanting to do a coffee blend collaboration, we said ‘absolutely.’”

Collaborations like these are part of the Creation’s trifold mission to create great coffee, meaningful relationships, and a better world.

“We’ve been able to form really cool relationships with people, just going alongside them, and partnering with them to see their goals and their dreams come to fruition,” says Marsh.

 

Creation Coffee has crafted special blends for companies like Shinola, but this is the first time they’ve done one in the music industry. Marsh calls Singer a close friend, and labels Michigander a ‘staple’ on the playlists that team members listen to while roasting or packaging up coffee.

The packaging designs for the limited edition blend were done by friend Joshua Noom, complete with holographic bags.

For Singer, growing up here meant a close-knit group of friends, including Marsh, who recorded Singer’s first solo extended play and sold him a loop pedal.

 

“The city of Midland does have really great people, which is something that I value more than things,” Singer says.

 

Since canceling scheduled concerts, festivals, and tours for the foreseeable future, bands are looking for ways to earn revenue and remain relevant in a saturated music scene. Michigander has performed a drive-in concert opening for Mt. Joy, a full-band live show streamed via Audiotree Presents in Chicago, an Instagram live interview with Switchfoot’s lead singer and an Amazon Music concert from Eureka Records.

 

Since its inception in 2014, Michigander has taken its alternative, indie rock music to the Mo Pop Festival stage in Detroit, a Bernie Sanders Rally in Grand Rapids, countless stages nationwide, and been featured on NPR, Paste, NME, SPIN, and more. While Singer has had many career highs, crafting this latest caffeine buzz was a really special moment too.

 

“Ben had a bunch of ideas and I had some notes on these ideas, and we just tweaked them until we got something that I thought was good,” the self-described ‘coffee snob,’ Singer, says. “I wanted it to be something accessible and smooth, so it is both of those things. It also has fruity notes in it as well; it’s true Ethiopian coffee — it’s a little bit lighter, not too dark. I think it’s really good — it’s so good that I haven’t gone to a coffee shop in two weeks.”

 

The packaging designs for the limited edition blend were done by friend Joshua Noom, complete with holographic bags.

 

While Singer has had many career highs, crafting this latest caffeine buzz was a really special moment too.“It feels really good to have something different than just a t-shirt to offer to people, or a CD, or a record,” says Singer.

 

Creation Coffee opened its brick and mortar on Nov. 13, located at 5023 Eastman Ave. The business started from Ben Marsh and Jacob Spence’s fondness of high-quality coffee, which they roasted from a $1 air popcorn popper purchased from Goodwill in the garage during their time at Northwood University in Midland.

 

Three years ago, the pair saw a gap in the local coffee market and decided to start roasting locally. While many restaurants are facing closing down for good, opening up their shop has proven successful so far.

 

“It’s been really solid,” says Marsh. “Since we’ve been around in the community for a while and have a pretty strong following of people who enjoy our coffee, we felt pretty confident we could open up a retail spot, and kind of have some built-in customers, fans, and clientele despite the difficult times we’re in now. We opened up the doors and have seen a lot of familiar faces, and a lot of new faces. It’s been really great.”

Focusing on sustainably grown, ethically sourced products, and fair wage workers, Creation aims to know the names of all farmers they’re buying from. Working closely with 80-90 locations across several states, Creation treasures each partnership or working relationship they’re involved in.

“For a lot of these people — their businesses, these coffee shops that they’re opening — are their dreams,” Marsh said. “They will quit their job and open up their coffee shop; their lifelong dream. They entrust us to supply the coffee for it, which we don’t take lightly.”


The limited-edition Gander blend and mug packages are available for sale on Creation’s website. Michigander is currently working on a new extended play, to be released in March 2021.

Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.

Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at spohn9@gmail.com.
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