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University Heights welcomes new coffee shop, Grateful Grind Coffee

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Beetroot lattes. Nitro-infused coffee. Tacos.

After working for 20 years as a coach and mentor, Angela Kunz is looking to shake things up with her new coffee shop, Grateful Grind Coffee.

Kunz constantly told people to live their lives to the fullest when she worked for the non-profit organization, People Inc. She couldn’t help but wonder if she was doing the same for herself.

Kunz took her own advice and fulfilled a dream she’d long wondered if she would ever get around to.

She and her husband, Tom Kunz, opened their coffee shop in early March. Grateful Grind Coffee is located in the heart of the University Heights at 3225 Main St. They offer unique twists on coffee-shop classics in an atmosphere that Kunz aims to make “inclusive for everyone of all ages, gender and race.”

Melanie Kehoe, a senior exercise science major, said she heard about the coffee shop from some of her friends and thought it would be a great addition to the area.

“There are lot of college students that live in this neighborhood, so many of them, including myself could be seen studying here as well as just hanging out with some friends and grabbing a drink,” Kehoe said.

The shop’s staple is nitro coffee, a cold-brewed espresso infused with nitrogen gas. The nitrogen changes the flavor, giving it a smoother, silkier texture. The drink pours like a Guinness rather than a coffee, cascading instead of flowing.

Kunz said the drink doesn’t need cream or sugar, which makes it a healthier alternative to some prepared coffee beverages.

Grateful Grind also offers Kombucha, a fermented tea widely known for its health benefits and distinct vinegar-like taste. They offer a citrus-ginger blend, which Kunz says is filled with probiotics and vitamins.

Grateful Grind’s tea is also nitrogen-infused and comes in a black lemon flavor.

The beetroot latte is a dairy-free and coffee-free alternative – arguably their most unique drink on the menu.

The drink is a latte in-name-only and doesn’t have any espresso but is made with beetroot powder and almond milk. Like the Italian classic it’s modeled after, this drink can be served iced or warm. The beetroot helps with circulation and is packed with amino acids, according to Kunz. The taste is similar to strawberry milk.

Grateful Grind also offers light dining options ranging from breakfast sandwiches and cinnamon rolls to tacos.

Kunz’s husband, a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America, helped design the menu and works closely with the staff on food preparation – placing emphasis on both taste and aesthetic.

“They aren’t just learning how to make burgers, they are learning how to plate the food and create tacos,” Kunz said. “Students have come in here and said, ‘this is the best breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had. We wouldn’t serve anything to eat or drink that we couldn’t give to our family or loved ones.”

The menu is prepared with college students in mind, with a little nod to the New Yorkers.

“The bagels are from Bagel Jay’s, I had to get good bagels because there are a lot of students from Long Island,” Kunz said.

The Kunz’s hope their shop will be a safe alternative to the local bar and party scene for students who live in the Heights. The building has a green-space in the back and plans to incorporate live music and patio seating for the summer.

Kunz said her philosophy isn’t about the “almighty dollar.”

Grateful Grind’s motto is, “May you love your life, follow your dreams and always, always be grateful.” Signs scattered throughout the shop’s interior read, “no judgement zone.”

“It’s really important for me to have the customers and the people who walk through our door have a better experience,” Kunz said. “To feel better about themselves essentially than when they came to us.”

The coffee shop isn’t meant for one “type” of customer, explained Kunz. She and her husband wants all people to feel comfortable – whether they’re doing business, studying, or meeting their mother for lunch.

Grateful Grind Coffee is open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Dana Casullo is a features staff writer and can be reached at features@ubspectrum.com


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