In the inaugural episode of “Behind The Counter” we sit down with Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company Co-Owner James Cadariu and GLCRC’s former General Manager Andrew Hansen. We got to sample a few esoteric beverages and talk with James and Andrew about the evolution of Great Lakes and what it’s like to operate an upscale coffee shop and bar in Midtown.
James, a lifelong Detroiter and self-described “tippler,” explains that he was initially compelled to take on the massive responsibility of co-founding a coffee shop for personal reasons: “That’s essentially my business model, I wanted a place that I wanted to hang out at,” he says.
Aside from creating a space that he finds inviting, James adds that it’s important to share the stories behind the beverages offered at Great Lakes. “I think sometimes we come off as being pretentious because we have high standards, but we don’t mean to be that. We are trying to really tell the stories of these farmers and it’s a little different model than I think people are accustomed to, but I think eventually they’ll get it, and we strive to do that through really good service and our trips to source and things like that,” James explains.
Throughout this episode, additional topics of discussion include Indian black peppercorns, Michael Bolton, immigrant grandparents, Eastern Market, “super tasters,” the natural world and toilet paper.
Episode Credits: Intro and Outro Music by Broke For Free. Episode edited by Annamarie Sysling.