New Door County Coffee Opened by Coffee Roaster Holds Grand Opening

Sean Grorich and his daughter, Evelyn, stand behind the coffee counter at Pinky Promise Coffee Roasters in Sturgeon Bay, which is having its grand opening on Memorial Day weekend.

STURGEON BAY – For two and a half years, Pinky Promise Coffee Roasters owner Sean Grorich has been roasting premium, mostly organic, responsibly and sustainably sourced coffee beans and selling them online and in stores across the county of Door.

Now those who want a taste of Grorich’s work can do so by the cup.

Pinky Promise has opened a cafe in the front half of its Madison Avenue roastery on the west side of downtown Sturgeon Bay, where it will offer coffees, cappuccinos, lattes and other coffee drinks, some a little unique and all prepared with fresh Pinky. The promise is preparing. The shop, which also offers pastries and healthy options, opened on May 13, but a grand opening celebration is planned for this Memorial Day weekend.

The official opening of the store is the culmination of a dream for the former nurse anesthetist who had been a lifelong coffee lover, as well as more than two years of hard work and waiting.

Grorich purchased the century-old building housing the roastery and shop in early 2020 – shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. He said he wanted to start coffee with roasting, but the pandemic forced him to focus on roasting first.

“Initially, when I bought the building, I had the roastery and a store in mind,” Grorich said. “But the pandemic kind of overwhelmed me, took a toll on how long it took to renovate this space. I just focused on getting the cafe out, getting our name out there.”

Grorich was therefore able to start roasting beans in September 2020 while working and renovating to make coffee a reality. Pinky Promise beans are unflavored, as Grorich said he prefers to bring out the beans’ natural flavors via roasting.

Grorich said about 85% of responsibly grown Pinky Promise roast beans are organic, and he sources some from several women-owned farms.

Additionally, several of the farms donate proceeds from their sales to charitable causes, and Grorich has launched a Coffee With a Cause effort in which 12% of proceeds from the seven blended roasts that Pinky Promise currently offers goes to a designated local cause.

During this time, Grorich began bringing Pinky Promise to local farmers’ markets, and the interaction with his cafe customers helped him refocus on opening the store.

“Farmers markets just reminded me why I got into coffee,” Grorich said. “(I thought,) yeah, I still want to shop, because it’s fun to tell people about coffee.”

The interior of Pinky Promise Coffee Roasters' new cafe in Sturgeon Bay, which is having its grand opening on Memorial Day weekend.

The interior of Pinky Promise Coffee Roasters’ new cafe in Sturgeon Bay, which is having its grand opening on Memorial Day weekend.

Besides coffees, the shop can offer more than just lattes, cappuccinos, and the other usual coffee drinks. Grorich said they make a Cubano, which is a shot of espresso with a little brown sugar on top for a hint of sweetness, and a Cortadito, which uses the Cubano as the base for a latte. The store also has a frother, which Grorich says creates the same effect as a steamer but without heating the liquid, so the drink can be served cold.

The shop also offers a selection of pastries and small bites from local businesses such as Scaturo’s Baking Company, Sunflower Bakery, and Door County Love Granola. Grorich said that with his healthcare background, he also brings health bars and protein bars, as well as protein powders that customers can mix into their drinks.

And for Grorich, the shop is as much about the atmosphere and camaraderie of the shared coffee experience as it is about the coffee itself. Guests can not only talk coffee with the staff, but also relax and step into the ARTicipation studio and gallery that shares building space with Pinky Promise while sipping their drinks.

“It’s about the barista and the customer having a good discussion about the coffee on the counter, as opposed to a big box coffee,” Grorich said. “You can go out and see some art if you want.”

Pinky Promise Coffee is located at 60 S. Madison Ave., Sturgeon Bay. It is open from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily. For more information, visit pinkypromisecoffee.com or email [email protected].

Contact Christopher Clough at 920-562-8900 or [email protected].

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This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Door County coffee roaster hosts grand opening of new cafe

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