Are they blender whisks? Cardamom pods? What in the world are those little tree things on the Sparrows Coffee logo? Listen, we often wonder the same thing. The truth is, no one really knows.
In November of 2017, Sparrows hired Jeff Kraus, a loyal Sparrows customer and local artist, to paint a mural to cover the side of our Wealthy Street building. We always knew we loved Jeff and his work, so choosing a regular to beautify our building didn’t take long. Jeff installed the 32’ long mural (featuring the pods of our brand) on the Robey side of our building in 2018, which didn’t matter to the state of Michigan. Despite his multiple efforts to protect the mural from the weather, it and the paint of our building fell prey to the hot sun and constant ice and snow Grand Rapids had to offer. Ya wanna destroy something? Leave it outside in Michigan for a couple years.
In 2019 we removed the mural for two reasons: One, to rescue amazing art from the elements. Two, to repaint the 100+ year old building that succumbed to those same elements. That beautiful mural has lived in hibernation in our garage since then. Until now. This week we reinstalled the mural on our patio side of the building and dammit if it wasn’t a ray of sunshine through Michigan’s sometimes oppressive clouds. Because sometimes all it takes is a shift in perspective to go from come on in to thank you, we love you. Great art isn’t something one should have to brag about or necessarily display to impress people enough to come and buy our product. Great art speaks for itself. In its new space, this mural has dynamically changed the experience of our customers in a way that isn’t about convincing y’all to come to us. It’s thanking you for choosing our cafe as your space. And we know that especially now, how our world exists, sometimes we all need an escape. Our patio and our amazingly loving staff, and our drinks (which are an art to themselves, along with our ability to truly connect with you) is an art that we hope you’re happy to find. An easter egg, if you will. So please, come see the mural, lean into this community, and get something to sip on while you’re at it. Welcome to Grand Rapids, and welcome to feeling at home and valued.