A Cup of Coffee with Sean Grant of Brown Street Cafe Tastefully Roasted

Katie Thoelecke
Contributing Writer

Tastefully Roasted offers a happy hour for UD students Monday through Friday from 3-5 p.m. Courtesy of @tastefullyroasted

The sweet smell of freshly ground coffee beans, the gust of wind following the opening of the front door and the aesthetic of the wooden tables spaced throughout the café are what draw customers inside. 

Tastefully Roasted is a local coffee shop on Brown Street. Whether it be somewhere to meet up with friends, a quiet place to study or a club or business gathering, Tastefully Roasted offers a place for everyone.

Coffee is what led Sean Grant to seek work at Tastefully Roasted. Grant’s love for coffee and his desire to learn more about it led him to become a barista. Starting full time at Tastefully Roasted was one of the “happiest moments” of his life. 

Sean Grant is the cafe manager of Tastefully Roasted. Courtesy of Katie Thoelecke

“Like learning how to play guitar”

Grant challenged himself by working every day from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. balancing two jobs, GameStop and Tastefully Roasted. For many people, this would not be worth the stress and exhaustion, but Grant loved Tastefully Roasted enough to make it work.  

Grant began working at Tastefully Roasted when it first opened in 2014. Beginning as a barista, his hard work brought him a promotion to Café Manager. 

Grant’s favorite part of his job is steaming milk because “it’s an art form, it’s like learning how to play guitar.” Relating steaming milk to playing the guitar is what led Grant to open up about his past career in music.

The story began when Grant was given an opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to travel the world and do what he loves most. After finishing one year at Sinclair Community College, Grant went on tour with his band. 

The band was made up of four musicians, with Grant as the guitarist. The hard-core punk band toured for three summers before coming to an end.

Looking elsewhere

Returning home from tour led Grant back to his job at GameStop. To Grant, this was “the worst job ever” because the business was “extremely corporate and there was no compassion for the employees because they only cared about the numbers brought in rather than the employees as people.”   

These working conditions led Grant to look elsewhere. Tastefully Roasted gave Grant a new home and a place of experiment and opportunity. 

As an independent business manager, Grant is able to run the business on his own terms. 

He would like “to see the store grow in the future and open up a few more locations.” His focus is also on improving what they already have in order to keep and expand business. 

Grant would like to create more business by bringing in more tables. This would allow more space for customers, specifically students and business professionals, so that they don’t turn around and walk out the door when there is no remaining space to sit.

Both the employees and the customers enjoy the environment that Grant has created for Tastefully Roasted. After just a step inside the café, it is easy to feel welcomed and comfortable. 

The coffee shop is serving seasonal drinks including peppermint mocha, gingerbread chai and more! Courtesy of @tastefullyroasted

Student and barista Jenna Killian described her job as having a “great work environment.” Killian spoke highly of Grant as well as the rest of the staff. 

A few weeks ago, Killian was steaming milk when the machine decided to explode, causing milk to fly everywhere. Naturally, her coworkers burst out laughing and eventually helped her clean it up and fix the machine. 

This work environment is what Killian loves most about her job; everyone can have fun while also getting the job done and helping one another.  

Two regular customers, Terry Martin and Jim Hemmerly, describe Tastefully Roasted as a good place to “drink coffee and eat a sandwich.” Both Martin and Hemmerly make a daily trip to the café. 

Martin, a professor for The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Dayton (UDOLLI), spends much of his time at Tastefully Roasted getting work done for his classes. He really enjoys the large tables because they “allow people who didn’t walk in together to sit together.” 

Martin and Hemmerly value the local aspect of the café, which is why they make their daily coffee trip here rather than somewhere like Starbucks.

Overall, though, Grant’s love for coffee and the local aspect of the café are what he believes continue to draw customers back. 

Each step of Grant’s journey has contributed to where he is now. In the end, “it was all worth it.”

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