KIVA SOUP Winner – January 2013

Always Brewing Detroit is a coffee shop in Grandmont-Rosedale, but it is so much more than that as well. Amanda Brewington sought to create a space that would be welcoming to people from all over with different backgrounds and different reasons for being in the space. Since she was 17 years old, her dream has been to create a gathering space for the community that is welcoming and empowering to all different audiences. She had a few stipulations for this kind of venture:

1. It would be a place you could meet your mom for coffee.

2. It would be a place where work could get done.

3. It would be a place for music, art, and inspiration.

Now that she has been at it for a while, Amanda believes they are achieving her dream with room to grow. She explains, “I wanted to open a place that I would hang out in, a place where people feel at home.  Detroit has always felt like that kind of place to me, so of course this seemed like the natural place to start this kind of business.” The shop accommodates community gatherings, the Grandmont-Rosedale SOUP events, artisan markets, open-mic nights and a bevy of other engaging, community-minded events.

When Amanda was starting out, she introduced Always Brewing Detroit as a pop-up concept to the neighborhood that would later become its home. Detroit SOUP entered her life just after that ended, as she was poised to sign a lease and take on some hefty financial burdens. This was a time of immense reflection for Amanda; she wanted to make sure that she was making positive choices for her business, but she also wanted a little validation that people believed in her idea—Detroit SOUP seemed like just the right place to do it.

The money was definitely an incentive, but ultimately, Amanda wanted to talk to people about what she was trying to achieve and promote the shop in the process. When reminiscing about the night she won, Amanda recalls it as a euphoric experience. “It really felt like Detroit was saying, ‘We support your dream.’ I thought to myself, ‘I’m not crazy.  I’m not alone in this.  I’ve got people who believe in this idea.’” Those people were the people that go to Detroit SOUP to learn about ways that others are making an impact on the city and to be an integral part in that force.

Amanda and the other folks at Always Brewing Detroit want people to get more than just a cup of coffee when they come in. Each day the shop opens, it is an opportunity for positive things to happen in the Grandmont Rosedale community and the rest of Detroit. Always Brewing Detroit is an opportunity to give access to everyone to have a positive and productive impact on their community. The shop has turned into an office, a place to meet neighbors, a place to see what else is going on in the community, and a place to embrace the value of coming together. Humbly, Amanda will not claim that these things would not happen without her and Always Brewing Detroit, but a shop like that hers is definitely a catalyst for growth.

To learn more about Always Brewing and find out about upcoming events visit their website: www.alwaysbrewingdetroit.com

– Joanna Dueweke