Loyalty Rewards Support Big Brothers Big Sisters


Give back with every sip!

When you sign up for Water Street’s Loyalty Rewards, you earn three reward points for every dollar you spend at any of our café locations. These points can be redeemed for discounts, OR you can choose to donate directly to our Featured Charity. From January through March 2020, our Featured Charity is Big Brothers Big Sisters.

In 1958, representatives from the Kalamazoo Junior Chamber of Commerce and Kalamazoo Public Schools founded Big Brothers of Greater Kalamazoo. In the mid-70s they added services for girls and became Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). Since then, they have grown to become the largest BBBS in Michigan, providing children, ages 6-18, one-to-one mentoring in Kalamazoo, Allegan, Calhoun, and Van Buren counties.

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides mentoring services to over 800 children every year. Whether it’s playing sports together, going on a hike, reading books, grabbing a slice of pizza or simply giving advice and inspiration, the goal of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to empower children to achieve their full potential. The BBBS staff also work with volunteers to provide ongoing training and support to promote longevity and to ensure child safety.

After just one year with a mentor, 98% of children report increased self-confidence, perform better in school and 100% of children intend to graduate high school.

At the annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake event, taking place February and March across Kalamazoo, Allegan, Calhoun and Van Buren Counties, bowlers (serious and less serious) raise funds and join the BBBS team for a bowling party to celebrate their successful fundraising for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Learn more here.

Water Street is proud to support Big Brothers Big Sisters and hopes you can help us in this effort.

Supporting charities throughout Kalamazoo county

Water Street’s Loyalty Rewards program began in 2018 and features a new charity each quarter. With the help of our customers, we’ve been able to support the important work being done in our community by the following non-profit organizations:

Bronson Children’s Hospital – $1,196
Can-Do Kitchen – $945
Girls on the Run of Greater Kalamazoo – $1,329
Kalamazoo County Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council (KCAN) – $1,037
West Michigan Cancer Center & Institute for Blood Disorders – $1,270

Check out our Giving page to learn how your organization can apply to be considered as our next Loyalty Rewards Featured Charity.

 

Give back with every sip!

When you sign up for Water Street’s Loyalty Rewards, you earn three reward points for every dollar you spend at any of our café locations. These points can be redeemed for discounts, OR you can choose to donate a portion directly to our Featured Charity. With your help, we raised $1,270 for West Michigan Cancer Center & Institute for Blood Disorders.

In 1994, Borgess Health Alliance and Bronson Healthcare Group opened the doors of West Michigan Cancer Center & Institute for Blood Disorders (WMCC). This fulfilled the hospitals’ joint vision to provide a cutting edge treatment facility for the community. The new center immediately made a positive difference in the health and lives of area residents and the collaboration ensured that the best treatment capabilities.

“Our vision,” says Anne Witherspoon, Developmental Director, “is to deliver exceptional, comprehensive and integrated care to patients throughout the region.” On average, WMCC sees 4,000 new patients each year. In addition, approximately 500 patients walk through the doors of the downtown Kalamazoo facility every day.

In the 25th year of service, WMCC has gone through many advancements to provide the best possible cancer and hematology care to the patients in this community. Currently, more than 90% of individuals diagnosed with cancer in the region receive their treatment at WMCC.

This summer, WMCC partnered with the Kalamazoo Growlers to have a “Strike Out Cancer Night” where thousands of their patients were treated to a free night at the ballpark. WMCC and the Growlers anticipate holding this event again in 2020.

Water Street is proud to support West Michigan Cancer Center & Institute for Blood Disorders and hopes you can help us in this effort.

Supporting charities throughout Kalamazoo county

Water Street’s Loyalty Rewards program began in 2018 and features a new charity each quarter. With the help of our customers, we’ve been able to support the important work being done in our community by the following non-profit organizations:

Bronson Children’s Hospital – $1,196
Can-Do Kitchen – $945
Girls on the Run of Greater Kalamazoo – $1,329
Kalamazoo County Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council (KCAN) – $1,037

Check out our Giving page to learn how your organization can apply to be considered as our next Loyalty Rewards Featured Charity.

 

 

Give back with every sip!

When you sign up for Water Street’s Loyalty Rewards, you earn three reward points for every dollar you spend at any of our café locations. These points can be redeemed for discounts, OR you can choose to donate a portion directly to our Featured Charity. With your help, we raised $1,037 for Kalamazoo County Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council (KCAN).

Kalamazoo County Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council (KCAN) started in March 1976 by volunteers from the Service Club (now Junior League of Kalamazoo). The council was formed in response to the concern of many agencies within the county about the issues of child abuse and neglect. Their mission is “to educate and advocate for the prevention of child abuse and neglect and prevent child abuse before it happens.”

KCAN provides a variety of community and educational programs, including sexual abuse prevention programs for young children and specialized training to teach professionals who work with children how to identify and report child abuse and neglect. Other programs include public awareness campaigns, special events/outreach activities and partnering with local and state government officials to advocate for child safety policies and more.

Every year, KCAN invites people and businesses interested in child safety to their largest annual fundraiser, the Super Hero 5k Fun Run/Walk. This event is fun for avid runners and casual walkers! Plus, 100% of the proceeds stay in Kalamazoo County to help educate children and mandated reporters on helping keep kids safe.

Water Street is extremely happy to support the amazing work of KCAN. Our hope is that you can join us in supporting this effort.

Supporting charities throughout Kalamazoo county

Water Street’s Loyalty Rewards program began in 2018 and features a new charity each quarter. With the help of our customers, we’ve been able to support the important work being done in our community by the following non-profit organizations:

Bronson Children’s Hospital – $1,196
Can-Do Kitchen – $945
Girls on the Run of Greater Kalamazoo – $1,329

Check out our Giving page to learn how your organization can apply to be considered as our next Loyalty Rewards Featured Charity.

 

 

 

Giving back with every sip!

Loyalty Rewards Support Girls on the Run. When you sign up for Water Street’s Loyalty Rewards, you earn three reward points for every dollar you spend at any of our Café locations. These points can be redeemed for discounts, OR you can choose to donate a portion directly to our Featured Charity. With your help, we raised $1,329 for Girls on the Run of Greater Kalamazoo.

Girls on the Run of Greater Kalamazoo

Girls on the Run of Greater Kalamazoo is an independent council of Girls on the Run International. It was founded in 1996 by Molly Barker a visionary and Ironman triathlete. Their mission is “to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.” Girls on the Run of Greater Kalamazoo (GOTRGK) was founded in 2001 by Kalamazoo community leaders committed to the health and well-being of our area’s youth.

“In our 17 years, Girls on the Run of Greater Kalamazoo has served more than 30,000 girls thanks to the generosity of donors and sponsors like Water Street Coffee,” shared Melisa Beeson, Executive Director of Girls on the Run of Greater Kalamazoo.

GOTRGK has grown from serving 350 girls in 2002, to more than 1,400 in 2018. For their upcoming 17th season, the program for girls in 3rd through 5th grades will be offered at more than 50 schools and community organizations with a presence in the greater Kalamazoo County area. They remain one of the largest councils of over 220 Girls on the Run councils in the country.

Melisa added, “Girls continued to face social pressures and conflicting messages about how they should act and who they should be. Studies show that by adolescence, girls’ confidence drops about twice as much as boys’. At Girls on the Run we inspire girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind through our research-based curricula.”

Water Street is extremely happy to support the amazing work of Girls on the Run of Greater Kalamazoo and hopes you can help us in this effort.

Supporting charities throughout Kalamazoo county

Water Street’s Loyalty Rewards program began in 2018. It features a new charity each quarter. With the help of our customers, we’ve been able to support the important work being done in our community by the following non-profit organizations:

Check out our Giving page to learn how your organization can apply to be considered as our next Loyalty Rewards Featured Charity. 

 

Sitting down for a coffee, you can almost feel the presence of those who’ve passed through Water Street over the years. Every subtle ding, scratch or scuff mark adds to the patina of the furniture and holds its own story. Working with our old friend and Master Woodworker Rob Chamberlin, newly-crafted furniture in the salon at our Oakland Café is now ready for a whole new era of stories.

Decades in the making

While the furniture only took a few months to design and build, the story began many years ago when our paths crossed with Rob. In 1993, we opened our original Coffee Joint at the intersection of Water Street and East Kalamazoo Avenue, and that part of town was quickly becoming an epicenter for commerce. Rob was often drawn to this part of town and shared, “Energetically, there’s something really special about this little part of town.” Many mornings he found himself meeting up with coworkers for a coffee before heading off to a job, and over the years he made a network of lifelong friends while visiting Water Street.

Fast forward a decade or two, and Rob was sharing shop space in the building behind our downtown location with local carpentry and bluegrass legends Rock Bartley and Scott Spink. While it created great synergy for working together, he found himself needing a place to call his own. After eyeing a vacant spot in the same building that was connected to his current space, he decided to pack up his tools and set up shop next door to his friends.

Rob’s new home was in the very same location where Water Street first started roasting coffee. Many remnants from the early days could still be found in the space. The color scheme on the walls matched that of our cafés, and you could even see the patched-up hole in the wall where the smokestack for the roaster once vented. Today, if you glance at Rob’s workbench, you’ll find an aged photo of Mark Smutek, our owner and president, roasting coffee right where the bench now sits.

It’s all in the details

With all of the shared history, there was no lack of inspiration while crafting the furniture for our Oakland Café salon. Rob had made the nesting stool tables for our Portage Café and the conference table that lives at our Roasting Facility. While there is a cohesion that emanates across all of our locations, each has its own distinct identity; and it was important to reflect this in the furniture. Working closely with our Creative Director Kirsten Field, who has been with Water Street throughout much of our journey, Rob and his Collaborator Kate Wilke thought through every detail of the furniture.

The wood they chose was ash. It has many characteristics that not only make it aesthetically pleasing, but also a good sturdy wood for constructing furniture. It’s lighter color complemented the room and would help to brighten things up. Ash was also an eco-friendly choice, as the market is flooded with the wood right now. Even more, using it in the furniture was doing our small piece to preserve the wood. With ash trees being decimated by the emerald ash borer, it’s likely these trees won’t be around for future generations.

Just like roasting brings out the character in a coffee bean, the proper finish can bring out the character of the wood. A plant-based oil and wax sealer from the German company Osmo was used to finish the wood, giving it a pleasant feel and appearance. Using a similar process that was common 100 years ago, it is not only environmentally conscious, but also food safe and easy to renew.

Determining the design of the furniture involved just as much thought. Rob commented on the process, “It’s not just how things are made, but I like to think about why we are making these things. What’s the purpose?” The end result was a simple and sturdy, yet stylish design that fit the flow of the room. Exposed joinery yielded an honest, durable look, with a softened slope to the arm for resting comfort. While the wood provides the base, we can’t overlook the upholstery. After all, what’s a good chair without a good cushion? Our friends at Vanderberg Upholstery, who we’ve worked with for many years, helped make cushions that were both comfortable and durable for standing up to the riggers of a coffee shop.

The end result is loungey, while still allowing for people to be able to eat, drink, work, and socialize comfortably. Rob shared, “At the end of the day, I think of it this way. Everything that I do, I try to make sure that it creates joy.” We couldn’t agree more and hope that the new addition to our Oakland salon brings joy to many, along with countless new stories.

We’ve enlisted the help of our loyal customers to help support local charities, providing non-profits with an outlet to raise money and spread awareness for their cause. With every dollar a Water Street Loyalty Reward member spends, they earn points that they can redeem for discounts or donate directly to our featured non-profit.

The program was introduced in 2018 and with the help of our customers we raised $1,196 for Bronson Children’s Hospital. To give a variety of non-profits the opportunity to participate, we’ll be featuring a new charity each quarter, for a total of four each year. The current featured charity for the first quarter of 2019 is Can-Do Kitchen, a local food business incubator who helps food entrepreneurs through the struggles of starting a new business.

“Our Loyalty Rewards is more than just a discount program. It’s an opportunity for us to partner with our loyal customers to give back to our community,” says owner Mark Smutek.

Water Street still has three featured spots to fill for 2019 and is currently accepting applications from non-profit organizations located in Kalamazoo County, Michigan. Applications will be evaluated on overall impact within the community. The program is not open to organizations who have exclusive membership, including athletic teams, religious institutions and political parties. To be considered, an official representative of your organization must complete the application on our Giving page by no later than February 28, 2019.

Give back a little with every sip!

When you sign up for our Water Street Loyalty Rewards, you earn three rewards points for every dollar you spend at any of our Café locations. These points can be redeemed for discounts, OR you can choose to donate a portion directly to our quarterly Featured Charity. With your help, we raised $945 for Can-Do Kitchen, our first Featured Charity of 2019.

Can-Do Kitchen helps food entrepreneurs on their journey

When Water Street opened in 1993, our owner, Mark Smutek, was the only employee for months. He did everything himself and learned along the way. He knows the daily struggles and triumphs of being an entrepreneur in the food industry.

Can-Do Kitchen is supporting many new food entrepreneurs through these struggles and helping to take some of the stress out of the process of starting a new business. Since 2008, they have been providing commercial kitchen space, food business incubation and workshops to entrepreneurs.

“We’re here to collaborate with food entrepreneurs in creating businesses that will have long-lasting positive impacts on families and the community overall,” shared Lucy Dilley, Executive Director of Can-Do Kitchen.

Can-Do helps layout a roadmap and supports entrepreneurs in developing reasonable goals. With their understanding of the regulations entrepreneurs will face, they are there to provide support along the way. Can-Do Camp, startup support meetings, resource guides, connections in the industry, food safety guidance – this is how they support food entrepreneurs in our community.

Lucy added, “Our commercial kitchen and our incubation services go hand-in-hand when it comes to supporting food businesses.”

Water Street is extremely happy to support the amazing work of Can-Do Kitchen and hopes you can help us in this effort.

Supporting charities throughout the Kalamazoo county area

The program began in 2018 and with the help of our customers we were able to raise $1,196 to donate to Bronson Children’s Hospital. Check out our Giving page to learn how your organization can apply to be considered as our next Loyalty Rewards recipient.

We decided to celebrate our 25th anniversary by giving back to the community. Dubbed Grounds for Giving, we’re donating 1% of wholesale purchases from 2018, totaling more than $10,000, to eight community-focused non-profits. The money is being donated on behalf of our wholesale partners, with each partner given the opportunity to designate where their portion of sales is donated.

“For us, coffee has always been about community and bringing people together. Through Grounds for Giving we were able to partner with our customers to help support organizations we all believe in,” says owner Mark Smutek. “We’re extremely proud of what we accomplished by working together.”

The following organizations will be receiving donations as a result of Grounds for Giving:

Water Street’s wholesale partners are diverse, and span throughout Michigan and beyond, from restaurants and cafes, offices, healthcare, grocery & convenience stores, to hospitality and religious organizations. Interested in becoming a wholesale partner with Water Street Coffee? Contact us to learn more here!

Water Street Coffee is proud to support those around us who are working to improve our communities and our greater world. Because giving back keeps us grounded.

Through our 25+ years serving the Kalamazoo and Portage communities, Water Street has been searching for the perfect loyalty program that would be the right fit for our customers. We wanted to set up rewards that would not only allow our loyal customers to save money, but would also provide an easy way for us all to give back to our community. We are excited to announce a brand new loyalty program that will do both!

Introducing Water Street’s new loyalty rewards program

Now, with every dollar you spend at Water Street, you earn 3 rewards points. These points can then be redeemed for discounts, OR you can choose to donate directly to a local non-profit. You can choose to redeem points as soon as you reach your first reward, or choose to accumulate them to save even more. Thinking of taking your office out to lunch, or eyeing that beautiful Chemex coffeemaker in our retail area? With the new loyalty program, you’ll see your rewards points increase with every dollar spent.

If I choose the donation option, where will the donation go?

We are proud to feature Bronson Children’s Hospital as our non-profit for 2018.

Bronson Children’s Hospital is the only children’s hospital in the area, caring for more than 4,000 inpatients each year. It is a unique place, with services and an environment designed specifically for young patients. From the whimsical murals that cover the walls, to the child life specialists and art and music therapists who enhance the care for patients and families, the children’s hospital provides more than medical care.

“We know that children and babies require different care than adults,” says Liz Semaan, director of the Bronson Health Foundation. “We have created a place where young patients have access to services for their all-around health – physically, socially, emotionally and psychologically. This would not be possible without the generosity of our community.”

Now is your chance to incorporate this generosity into your daily routine. The points you earn with your morning coffee purchase can translate directly into real help for local children. Water Street is happy to support the amazing work that Bronson Children’s Hospital does.

“Bronson Children’s Hospital is grateful to be the first recipient of Water Street Coffee Joint’s loyalty program,” says Semann. “We are thankful to Water Street and its loyal customers who choose to join us in building a culture of caring around each child.”

I’m in! How can I start earning points?

Enrolling in the loyalty program is easy!

Want to enroll right now, from your phone or computer? Download the Water Street app, create an account, and you will be automatically enrolled, plus you can take advantage of ordering ahead to #skiptheline! In the app, you can easily see how many points you have, and can redeem them on your order.

Not interested in the app? No problem. On your next visit, you can self enroll at the register or ask your barista to enroll you in the loyalty program. All they will need is your name, phone number, email address, and birthday (optional) to get you signed up. You’ll start to earn points right away with your purchase. Then on your next visit, you can enter your rewards number (your phone number) on the ipad yourself to see your points and choose how and when you’d like to redeem them.

We couldn’t be more excited to start this new program for our customers and our community. Enroll today to start earning points!

 

At Water Street, we are always looking for new and exciting areas to expand and respond to what our customers are looking for. When the studying and work has ended for the day, we want our customers to be able to sit back, relax, and catch up with friends. What better way than with a refreshing cocktail, smooth glass of wine, or cool local beer? With that in mind, we are excited to debut our recently acquired liquor license at our Portage cafe with an official Cocktail Launch Party on June 16th, from 6pm-10pm.

It’s party time!

We’ll be offering 25% off all cocktails, beer, and wine from our Spring Menu, and 30% off delicious appetizers all evening. Guests can also enjoy live music from Borr+McFerrin from 6pm-8pm, fun giveaways, and a special tasting from One Well Brewing.

Now is your chance to try something cool and refreshing, like our Hibiscus Twist, made with Tito’s Vodka, lemon juice, freshly brewed Hibiscus Rooibos Iced Tea, and Lavender Syrup (made in house using locally grown lavender from Shades of Lavender Farm in Mattawan, MI). Looking for something with a little zip? Try our Irish Coffee with a BANG! We combine Jameson Whiskey, Water Street’s own cold brew (Iced Coffee with a BANG), and simple syrup, then we pour over coffee ice cubes and top with a float of heavy whipping cream.

With such a vibrant local beer scene in Kalamazoo and Portage, we couldn’t help but feature some local beers on our beer list. One of our favorites is One Well Brewing’s Sweet Water Street. An Imperial Porter at 7.1%, this beer highlights our very own Water Street coffee, as well as donuts from another Kalamazoo mainstay: Sweetwater’s Donut Mill. Sweet and smooth, it’s the perfect beer to pair with our summer desserts. Our beer list also features selections from Kalamazoo’s own Bell’s Brewery, as well as Grand Rapids’ Founder’s Brewing Company and Brewery Vivant, and more.

If wine is what you’re looking for, we have a carefully selected list, including a 2016 Barista Coffee Pinotage from Western Cape, South Africa. Rich with coffee, chocolate, and mulberry notes, we recommend pairing a glass with a delicious Spinach and Feta Turnover. Or try a mimosa, featuring the Valdelavia Cava Brut, along with fresh squeezed orange juice.

Water St Live!

What else goes well with a cocktail? Live music! We are happy to continue our Water St Live series of free live music at our Portage cafe throughout the summer. Catch Borr+McFerrin at our Cocktail Launch Party on June 16th, then come back to hear The Birdseed Salesmen with Helen Yee on June 28th. Our full event listing can be found on our events page, as well as on Facebook. Each of these events will be free of charge and feature local artists from the Kalamazoo or West Michigan area. With such a lively musical community in Kalamazoo and Portage, we are thrilled to be able to showcase local musicians’ talents and provide a fun, relaxing evening event.

Our cocktail, beer, and wine menu will be changing seasonally, so come in and try these offerings while you can. And we hope to see you on June 16th!

Beer and and wine is served from 7am to close Monday through Saturday, and 12pm to close on Sunday. Cocktails are served 4pm to close Monday through Friday, 7am to close Saturday, and 12pm to close Sunday. Stay tuned for news on approval of our full license, which will allow us to serve cocktails with Sunday morning brunch, as well as let guests enjoy their drinks on our outdoor patio.