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New campus coffee shop is all about community

Coffee Connections is a small local business dedicated to community outreach. Credit: Courtesy of Coffee Connections of Gateway

A new coffee shop in the outdoor plaza at Gateway just opened its doors to Ohio State students and the greater Columbus area.

Coffee Connections, a small business dedicated to community outreach, is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday, led by the University District Small Business Association and Gateway.

“We really pride ourselves on [how] we know where it was roasted, and we know when it was roasted, so we can consistently have good coffee,” Jeff Heimberger, co-owner and the operator at the Gateway location, said. “Fresh roasted coffee and consistency: every drink tastes the same and every drink is amazing, so every time you come in you know the experience you’re gonna get.”

Heimberger said Coffee Connections is a faith-based business that wants to provide the best products possible, so it partners with local businesses to foster connections in the Columbus community.

Gateway is its second site, with the first location in Hilliard, Ohio.

“Nate and Sharon Grenier, two of the four owners, were in Pennsylvania and were ordained ministers in the church, and they were actually told by God, a feeling from God, to move to Ohio and start a coffee business,” Heimberger said.

Heimberger said the couple quit their jobs within the year and moved to Hilliard where they opened a mobile coffee business.

Coffee Connections is now in its third year of production and won the 2017 Emerging Business of the Year by the Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce. It was contacted by the University District Board and won the bid out of 13 other coffee shops to annex the Gateway plaza location.

Heimberger said the ribbon-cutting ceremony will include a small presentation highlighting the business’s history, various short speeches and mint milkshakes.

In the upcoming months, Coffee Connections will use social media to field suggestions for community outreach, such as cleaning local parks or volunteering at a food pantry.

“We want to connect with all types of groups and be able to funnel you to whatever group you want,” Heimberger said. “You will have [the] opportunity coming here to connect with the bigger, the greater-campus area and actually have an impact.”

 

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