Depot Town is continuing to come alive with the recent edition of Cultivate Coffee and TapHouse located at 307 River St. across from the Ypsilanti Food Co-op. What was once an auto repair shop is now a unique community hangout filled with passion and excitement.
At Cultivate you will find a variety of craft beers on draft to choose from as well as a variety of direct trade coffee options. Cultivate is proud to support the local Michigan beer culture, amongst the featured beer selection you will find that 80-85% of the options available are Michigan brews. All of the coffee available is direct trade meaning they buy directly from the coffee growers, eliminating a middleman. Forming a relationship with the growers directly helps ensure there are good working conditions.
If you do not know a lot about their products, direct trade or you want to try out the different coffees, then“Weekly Coffee Cupping” is a great event to attend. Billy Kangas, one of the general managers and the go-to coffee guy, loves to answer questions about their products and share the grower’s stories. Kangas hopes to continue finding more ways to be involved in direct trade opportunities.
Bekah Wallace, one of the general managers, shared the meaning behind Cultivate is a three point vision of craft, community and cause. The staff at Cultivate are dedicated to making this vision come true with every interaction.
“It’s a great place to get some work done or hang out with some friends. I love the atmosphere of the hybrid coffee shop/bar,” said Amin Lanseur, EMU graduate and drummer for popular Ypsilanti band, Stormy Chromer.
Craft is a huge focus for Cultivate seen by their passion for their craft beer and quality coffee. They are excited to encourage the community to enjoy these crafts and to find joy in their own craft as well.
Alethea Phillips, an Early College Alliance (ECA) student at EMU, shared her experience with Cultivate saying that, “It’s a great local business, and it feels like a really creative space.”
Cultivate is keeping creativity alive through coloring nights, board game nights and many other special events to engage and encourage a creative community. All events are written on the giant chalkboard calendar to the right as soon as you walk in.
Cultivate has also created a community location with a welcoming atmosphere for people from all walks of life. There is plenty of space to host events and you can even reserve tables for community meetings and student organization events. Students have also found the relaxed atmosphere to be a great study place.
“With it being a more physically open space, I think that it invites a sense of community and collaboration,” said Kayleigh Crummey, a senior studying her last semester of dance at EMU.
The sense of community goes far beyond the building by supporting a number of causes. Cultivate is a registered non-profit with all proceeds going to hunger relief! They are actively involved with many community partners such as Food Gatherers, Ypsilanti through Growing Hope and Ypsi Meals on Wheels. They also have an international partnership through Food for Farmers which works to help ensure farmers are able to have a stable life year round.
Cultivate has a deep level of care for the Ypsilanti community. Kangas stated that they are involved in direct service relief, as well as invested in the hearts and minds of the people. They are addressing immediate needs and systematic flaws at the root causes of hunger and enjoying serving their community all at once.
Depot Town community has gained a unique community member through Cultivate, and they’ve brought great energy and care with them. And, for the month of February, if EMU students show their Eagle IDs they will receive a dollar off their purchase. Everyone involved at Cultivate are looking forward to having their building filled with memory making and story sharing.