Church gets into the coffee business
By Kimberly R. Simmons
Special to the Michigan Citizen
GROSSE POINTE PARK — Grace United Church of Christ has entered the coffee business as Higher Grounds Ministries runs The Higher Grounds Coffee Cafe in a three-story, newly renovated building on the corner of Nottingham and Mack Avenue in Grosse Pointe Park
Rev. Marica Fairrow is the pastor of the small congregation who, on Sundays, hold worship service right in the middle of the cafe. She has been pastoring this ministry for almost two years.
The church was originally located on Lakepointe in Grosse Pointe Park in a large, beautiful, traditional building with high cathedral ceilings and high financial upkeep.
“We were running out of funds,” Fairrow said. “We were working off of investments, and they weren’t making money.”
Fairrow said though they had a few options in terms of saving their ministry and staying a church family, it was clear they needed financial assistance. So the church agreed to sell their larger building and purchase their new smaller location that houses the coffee house/sanctuary, church offices, youth ministries and even additional rental space for outside businesses.
While they were able to breathe a sigh of relief once the old church was sold, renovating the new location was an undertaking Fairrow said she had never experienced. “It was rough, but we got through it.”
She said it was her faith that saw her through every step — from hiring the contractor to setting up the decor of the facility. “It was just simply saying, ‘Jesus, guide my steps.’”
With a fully functioning kitchen and decked out in an array of contemporary colors, the cafe offers a relaxing environment where patrons can order smoothies, sandwiches, pastries, tea and, of course, coffee products.
While the idea of a coffee house church isn’t a new concept across the country, Fairrow said, this is something new to the metro Detroit area. She said this idea has been well-received by their church organization, the Detroit Metropolitan Association of United Churches of Christ.
They have been open just over a month as a coffee house, and the business aspect of the ministry is growing.
“We are in the community and about the community, and people are getting to know about us and are spreading the word,” Fairrow said. “They have been very responsive to us.”
For more information about the Higher Grounds Coffee Cafe or the ministry, call 313.822.3823 or visit them at 15324 Mack Ave.