Updated: Mar 29
Bluefield, VA – Regional flavors with local Appalachian flare, a “get stuff done” atmosphere and great coffee is what you’ll get a taste of at Downtown Bluefield, Virginia’s newest coffee shop and eatery: The Grind. The café was established by Collin O’Donnell, one of the Bluefield WV Economic Development Authority’s (BEDA) Entrepreneur’s Bootcamp graduates.
Originally from North Tonawanda, New York, O’Donnell was drawn to Bluefield by the mountains and his passion to play football. Another passion became unlocked as he pursued his dream of creating a coffee shop filled with quality products with a focus on customer experience. Along with his partners (Cole Carter, Joshua Wright, and Joseph Haner), O’Donnell started the journey on May 15, 2020, selling their items out of a food truck and opened shop in May 2021 for their “soft” launch.
Through their commitment to delivering the ultimate coffee experience, The Grind seeks to offer a space that makes you “feel as though you’re not in Bluefield, while in Bluefield”; a space that is intentionally designed to bring the best experience to customers through the service, food, and quality. Every menu item is cooked fresh in-house daily to ensure the highest quality possible.
“If you look at the culture of Bluefield, it’s our hard-working Americans that keep the economy moving, people that get stuff done every single day. The Grind is basically the embodiment of both the culture of Bluefield and coffee…that’s the way we rep ourselves, carry ourselves, honor ourselves, talk to our customers, it’s in the food we serve and the quality and the details,” said O’Donnell.
The Grind is committed to serving Bluefield with their craft roasted coffee, specialty bagels, smoothies, breakfast sandwiches, wraps, and much more. Their newly renovated location at 130 Spring Street Bluefield, Virginia, offers a rustic, welcoming environment filled with relaxing space for locals to enjoy.
The Grind partners with numerous café roasters within Appalachia and local suppliers to provide quality products to the community. O’Donnell stressed the importance of supporting area businesses as part of his operations.
“Our business is the business that supports other small businesses. Our veggies are all local, our baked goods are all local, our meats are local, our coffee is all local. We are utilizing a variety of small businesses in our supply chain, it’s very rewarding and it’s being utilized in the region and reciprocated like a domino effect,” stated O’Donnell.
In an effort to pour into the community and his business, O’Donnell has taken opportunities to gain resources and training; BEDA’s Entrepreneur’s Bootcamp is one of them. O’Donnell found the Bootcamp to be a valuable tool along the way.
“I think it’s really beneficial for entrepreneurs to be able to sit there and look at the details,” said O’Donnell “It’s easy to create an image in your head of what your ultimate idea is, it’s even easier to just sit there and dream about it all day, but the actual steps involved with beginning that journey are significant and sometimes overwhelming. The opportunity to break them down into coherent opportunities to do one thing every single day to move in the right direction is beneficial," stated O'Donnell.
BEDA launched its Bootcamp on Jun. 5, 2020, in partnership with the My Own Business Institute (MOBI) at Santa Clara University. In response to COVID-19, BEDA sought a way to easily put practical and valuable tools into the hands of local and regional small business owners or aspiring start-ups. The department continually strives to provide tools and training to help the community's businesses grow and succeed.
O’Donnell is already seeing the “grind” of hard work pay off. The shop is going through roughly 110 pounds of coffee, and 700+ bagels every week. Not only are they seeing success in sales, but drawing folks into the downtown. O’Donnell was excited to hear that several other new businesses will be locating in downtown Bluefield, Virginia soon as well.
The Grind will hold their grand opening on Jul. 8, during Bluefield Virginia's 'Field Fest. The following Saturday, Jul. 10, The Grind will host an all-day family-friendly event at their downtown location beginning at 10:00 a.m. including a car show and “Coffee with Cops”.
“We’re making downtown a place for families to enjoy themselves and are removing the stigma that you have to travel a distance to enjoy the weekend, we want to become part of the staple that allows people to enjoy their weekend right here in Downtown Bluefield,” said O’Donnell. (Read The Grind’s full announcement here)
The “grind never stops” for Collin and his crew. They are excited to continue to serve the local community for days to come. Go treat yourself to a coffee, enjoy a smoothie, or grab breakfast or lunch Tuesday-Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sundays 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at The Grind.
You can find The Grind on social media @thegrindbluefield or on their website at www.thegrindbluefield.com
Interested in MOBI? Click here to find out more or sign up today
Collin would like to recognize his partners, Cole Carter, Joshua Wright, and Joseph Haner for all their hard work and commitment as well as Jessica Street and Tayler Jackson for working diligently to ensure customers get the best experience. He would also like to recognize Doug Lusk at HillBilly Farms LLC. for the dedication to provide locally grown products to the shop as well as their regional roasters in Christiansburg and Lexington for all of their hard work.
– Faith Blackwell, Marketing and Administrative Assistant (firstname.lastname@example.org)