“Brewhemia has provided a place for the community to gather. A place for people to share ideas. A place to hang out that’s not home or work… it’s that 3rd place,” explains coffee shop ‘Brewhemia’ owner, Andrea Shriver.
Coffee shops in the downtown area of Cedar Rapids have played a huge role in the shaping of the community and continue to do so. From Brewed Awakenings near Coe College to Brewhemia in the Newbo district, and everything in between, the options are endless.
Whether one is looking for a place to study, a place to relax, a place to gather, or a place to simply grab their morning cup of coffee, these businesses accommodate for the grand majority of the population here in Cedar Rapids.
“We really have a diverse clientele. Ranging from business people to students to stay at home moms to rock stars to retirees. You name it, we have it,” elaborates Shriver.
With the downtown district being home to hospitals, a college, numerous businesses, in addition to the living population and Cedar Rapids being a frequent location for entertainment events, these shops are a vital component in keeping the community running, and not only on caffeine.
It’s hard to believe that ten years ago in 2008, members of the community were sandbagging in response to the flood that destroyed parts of downtown Cedar Rapids. Despite the destruction, community members old and young banded together to help one another and rebuild their home.
The past years have not only shown that the downtown district has recovered, but that it has also grown and continues to prosper. Through the addition of the Newbo district, the McGrath Amphitheater, and so much more, this community has shown what is possible when people come together.
The coffee shops symbolize this strength as they provide individuals a place to gather. A place to bring the community together.
These shops also provide a friendly face and quality service in the community that chain shops can’t quite achieve since they lack that connection to the community.
Amy Brown, manager of the 1st Ave. location of Brewed Awakenings takes pride in the fact that this shop strives to treat customers as friends before customers.
“A big part of the employee training process includes really pushing customer service in the way of greeting our customers as soon as they walk in the door, learning their names, and getting to know them personally is a priority for us,” Brown explains, “We want them to not only feel welcome, but also know that we are glad to see them!”
Brown also gushes about how the owners of Brewed Awakenings, Larry and Junetta Janda who often support the community through donations.
No matter what the reason, everyone can find something at these local coffee shops. Whether it be coffee, baked goods, a relaxing environment or friendship, there is something for everyone.
Find your ‘3rd place’ by visiting one of these shops!
1271 1st Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
1202 3rd St SE #101, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401