Roots Brew Shop offers a creative atmosphere and delicious drinks


With the second week of school officially upon us, it really pains me to say that I’ve now traded the hours spent in the sun every day for hours of homework.

With summer slipping away so fast, it’s time to get back into the organized routine that I neglected over the summer. What makes the structured school days a little more bearable is a cozy coffee shop that has a fresh atmosphere for homework. Tucked away in West Grand Rapids, Roots Brew Shop offers just that. It has the perfect ambiance to ease a little bit of the stress that accompanies homework. 

When I stepped into the coffee shop, I immediately noticed its considerable size and open layout. About fifteen tables with a motley collection of eclectic chairs were spread apart generously in the almost industrial-looking space. Every chair at the tables said something different; they each told a story about where they could have come from. The unique chairs added a special touch to the already distinct shop.

After saying hello to the friendly cashier and scanning the chalkboard menu with their assortment of coffees, teas, kombucha, bagels, pastries, and soup, I decided on an iced chai latte with an asiago bagel. The food and drinks were fairly priced; each drink ranged from $2 to $6. My drink and bagel, along with my mom’s cappuccino, totaled to $11.

The service was quick and kind; we received our food and drinks just minutes after ordering. I didn’t expect my bagel to be as big as it was; each half of the bagel was as big as my face. The cream cheese paired with it wasn’t too overpowering, and my iced chai latte was seasoned with just the right amount of cinnamon.

While enjoying our delicious food and drinks, we spotted a mix of board games stacked on one of the shelves and decided on Scrabble. Having the board games was an interesting addition; I liked that they offered something to do in case conversation awkwardly stopped or you needed a break from work. We played Scrabble with the melodies of the typical indie-folk coffee shop music playing in the background, which was a great way to ease some of the stress from the day. Almost every table was occupied with college students doing their work or friends playing cards, but it didn’t feel noisy or crowded at all. My mom and I could converse and play the game easily without the music or other conversations being a distraction.

The one downfall, though, was finding parking in a busy downtown area. The drive was about twenty minutes, which I think is manageable since the atmosphere, service, and drinks were perfect. Finding parking downtown is always a gamble, but I think that one minor downside is definitely outweighed by the other amazing aspects of Roots Brew Shop.

At first glance, I didn’t expect the cafe to be what it was. The name didn’t sound like a typical coffee shop name, but when I realized the founder was Mallory Root it made sense. Her mission is to provide a safe space for anyone to create, get inspired, and feel encouraged. I definitely felt the inspirational and encouraging vibes because every table had somebody very intently working on something of what I assume had value to them.

With a 6:30 am opening time for the early-risers and a 9 pm closing time for the people who work best at night, Roots Brew Company has great hours for everyone to get something accomplished. The food and drinks may not cater to all diets, but I think just sitting in the coffee shop with a cup of water would feel just the same as having a coffee or tea. Their chill music and open layout provide a great space to hang out with friends, catch up on homework, or play a board game with your mom. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Roots Brew Shop and hope to head back soon to try some of their other menu items.