Our biggest challenge was going to be bringing creating the space where The Grind will reside. It was easy for us to create the brand feel and look based on their brand attributes. With almost no budget, we had to find funding for coffee shop to be able to grow into what it wanted to become. It was important we made the mission and goal clear as to allow people to be inspired by the brand.
The outcome is a brand that stands out against the traditional coffee shop feel in the area it plans to reside in. It blends both ministry and coffee. The modern approach and goal of helping out people in a tough spot builds friendships over something simple and common, coffee.
Before we wanted to put any pencil to paper, we needed to build a foundation for the brand. Without that foundation, it would be hard to grow or even communicate correctly. We were very strict on the vision and the problem we are aiming to solve.
Not only did we work on the positioning, but the zag as well, which is the way we are different!
We also have their tagline, "Choose Coffee. Choose Life." What does this mean? The Grind is a brand that has a strong Christian faith. They also take biblical principles and teach them in a simple way that is applicable. These are principles that you find almost anywhere, philosophy, self help books, get rich books, and almost anything else! This proves that they hold pretty true so that means that's a good base for us to stand on. "Choose coffee" is just a way of realizing you can have coffee anywhere else. So, why us? You make a choice to come here based off what we stand for and what we want to solve as best as we can. "Choose life" is the choice to make to believe in something. Nothing can ever be forced on you or it's not genuine. With that, you are also making the choice to grow by realizing you're not the only one going through that issue. Experience is the best teacher, so learn from others experiences to maybe help other areas in your life other than a specific issue.
We also went through defining our target, people who we help the best and provide the most value to, which are young adults who are in college or just out. The owners have been in their shoes and still battle the same things they do! They have a busy life and are always on the go. However, they love when they get the chance to slow down, hangout, play games and disconnect from all the work that they are constantly doing. They are still navigating the craziness of a career, if they even know what they want to do.
Now we were able to move to the designs! The fun part!
With all the foundation established, we realized we wanted to create a simple mark that stood out and could be recognizable. We played with some word marks and tried playing with something witty. The initial concepts didn't feel right for the brand. Coffee shops always have word marks that look the same. We moved into symbols designs. We thought of working with the G and nothing felt right either. It wasn't until we saw an xbox 360 lying on it's side.
The power symbol was cool. I mean, coffee powers you up! It wakes you up and gets you going. Okay, well how about turning it on its side to form the "G" we were after? That's it! Remember, a simple mark is the best one. Design is supposed to be simple. The mark is meant to identify, not communicate.
We had to tackle a whole different beast. There was only $3000 dollars to work with. Not only was equipment needed to make the coffee, but there needed to be interior design done, some painting, face lifts and other little things.
We started out by taking a look at the space, seeing what we have to work with and bringing it in the computer. Having the massive constraints we did forced us to really be creative and make every dollar count! The first thing we had to do was measure everything and see what kind of spacing we were working with.
Once we figured our square footage for paint, flooring, and furniture, we got to work. Literally. We built everything with volunteers to really save money.
We used cmu blocks and 2x4s to build the benches to the sizes we wanted them. We then just make them look like with with good ole paint and stain.
We also had to make sure we saved cost on equipment. We decided to use an aeropress and chemex for the bulk of the coffee making. Cold brew is easy and a low cost way to make coffee. The aerorpess is able to mimic espresso for $30 without spending $5k on a commercial espresso maker. The chemex has been around for a long time and is known for well it does pour over coffee so it was a no brainer. This, with some other pieces allowed us to get started for next to nothing. It actually created a unique selling point for using all manual hand methods.
Finally, we had to do a soft opening and then grand. The result was a really great reception of the brand and most importantly, the cause and coffee. The Grind continues to hold strong on its values, faith and purpose. The grind wasn't set out to be another place to do homework, but a place to be able to work on you without being judged.
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