Lori Slager Wenzel opened The Sparrows Coffee & Tea & Newsstand in 2007, offering an inclusive, community-minded cafe space that continues today. The company launched a roasting operation attached to a second cafe on Grand Rapids’ west side last year, although that location has since closed to the public.
This is the second major announcement in as many months from Schuil, which was purchased last year by entrepreneur Tim Volkema after being run by the Schuil family since 1981. Last month, the company announced a complete rebranding, including new logos, new bags, and a fresh website with an improved e-commerce platform. The company bills itself as the area’s first specialty coffee roaster, while offering some 100 single-origin and blended coffee products to wholesale clients and direct to consumers.
The company said in an announcement today that the deal with Sparrows will allow the latter company to grow by increasing roasting capacity and access to capital, while giving Schuil additional in-house roasting talent.
According to Schuil, Slager Wenzel will continue to own and operate The Sparrows cafe independently, while becoming general manager of the Schuil-owned Sparrows Coffee wholesale business. Sparrows Head Roaster Cody Gallagher and Head of Product Development and Quality Assurance Tim Novak will also join Schuil.
“Schuil Coffee is committed to all of its customers, so we need driven and genuinely passionate experts who can deliver authentic coffee concepts that serve the diverse tastes of today’s consumers,” Volkema said in today’s announcement. “Lori, Cody and Tim have spent extensive time in Grand Rapids’ specialty coffee culture. They complement our legacy roasting team with deep knowledge and a capacity for innovation, consistency and adaptability, which can help us thrive in this competitive marketplace.”
The financial terms of the acquisition were not made public.