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A New Hampshire-Via-Detroit Roaster Plans a Coffee Shop for McDougall-Hunt

A community-minded new caffeine option for Gratiot

An architectural rendering of the planned James Oliver Coffee Shop on Gratiot Avenue, in a former industrial building.
A mock-up of the planned coffee shop
James Oliver Coffee Co./Supplied

The McDougall-Hunt neighborhood will welcome a new coffee shop from Detroit-based roaster James Oliver Coffee Co this year.

In an email to Eater, owner David Shock said that the cafe will open at 3040 Gratiot, later in 2020.

The company has been in the business for 25 years, although it was previously based in New Hampshire, where namesake James Oliver Clark founded it under the name Black Bear Micro Roastery).

In recent years, Clark’s daughter, Miranda Clark, moved to Detroit and married Shock, a Detroit native with experience at roasters like Great Lakes and Germack. The pair took over the company in 2019 and moved it to Michigan, setting up on E Davidson Street (near Van Dyke Avenue), and renaming it in honor of the elder Clark. (That location is a production facility, and isn’t open to the public.)

The coffee shop will take over part of the industrial building that used to house badge-maker Weyhing Brothers — it’ll feature 15 seats, as well as a small conference room with space for another 12 people; a walk-up window will serve both coffee and light bites.

It’ll be the first brick and mortar location for James Oliver, which has stuck to roasting up until now. With his mother a former public school teacher, Shock also wants to run a community-minded operation — the roaster currently sells a blend named Alma Mater, and $7.50 from every sale of it goes to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation.

James Oliver Coffee Co.

3040 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, MI 313-265-0897 Visit Website