Story and photos by Kristin Schaeffer
If you were old enough to watch TV in the 90s, but even if you weren’t, more than likely the image of six ‘Friends’ sitting around in a comfy, cozy coffee shop enjoying each other’s company and gabbing about the latest triumph or catastrophe is a familiar one.
When you walk through the door of It’s a Grind Coffee House at 4450 East Yellowstone Hwy in Evansville it’s easy to imagine spending hours by the fireplace heater with friends, a book club, knitting group, or just reading a book or getting some telework accomplished, all while sipping fresh, hot coffee or tea.
The large space is decorated with couches, coffee table, an antique steamer trunk, some tables that look like they might be in a sweet grandmother’s or aunt’s kitchen. It’s inviting and makes you want to stay awhile.
“We really wanted a place where people could come in and sit and be comfy and visit, or sit and read a book, because that’s what we wanted to do when we went out for coffee and we just couldn’t find the space for it,” said Ali Ketcham, owner of It’s a Grind. “So that really was our ultimate goal.”
It’s clear that the use of the space was not a secondary thought to the coffee when planning the shop.
“It’s kid friendly,” said Ketcham. “We like to have the kids’ corner. We have a group of moms come in from Glenrock once a week with their children.”
I know what you’re thinking: ‘That’s great. Love that It’s a Grind is a nice place to be, kid friendly, but what about the coffee?’
According to Ketcham she and her team really considered everything while preparing to open the shop. They tested, tested and tested some more to be sure that what they were bringing in was the right choice for their shop. From the coffee and loose leaf tea, right down to the cups and lids, Ketcham considered every detail.
“We did a lot of product testing before we opened,” she said. “I feel like the first impression that someone gets of you is really the only one that you’re going to get, so I wanted to give the best first impression we could when we opened.
We have good coffee. We spent a lot of time in the early part of last year sampling coffees and getting coffees in. I really think what we have is the best of the best and we’ve priced it a way that it makes it easy to come in and try a lot of different things.”
Our coffee is fresh roasted the day it ships to us. We get it second day every time and reorder about every ten days, said Ketcham.
Running behind and haven’t eaten breakfast? Don’t worry, you can pick up your coffee and your breakfast at It’s a Grind.
“We get our pastries fresh from the Flour Bin most mornings,” said Ketcham, a big fan of the Downtown bakery. “Have you been to down to the Flour Bin? They’re so great! It’s rare to come across someone like that. He was just born to make pastries! When you go in he’s just like: ‘Guess what I made today!’”
If you’re a fan of It’s a Grind’s coffee and teas and want to take some home to make in your own kitchen, you’re in luck!
“We sell flavored beans and our regular drip coffee beans; or Guatemalan beans on request. We’ll bag them up for you,” said Ketcham.
With nearly a year of coffee and tea serving in Casper under her belt, Ketcham is looking toward how she can expand the business in the future. She seemed not to want to spill the beans about exactly what they’re up to, but if the shop so far is any indication, it’s bound to be good!
“I imagine there are some really exciting things coming down the line for us.”
It’s a Grind is open from 5:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visit them on Facebook and follow It’s a Grind to keep up with what’s happening week to week.