NOW BREWING IN OPP: Couple brings life traits to new coffee shop

Published 11:00 am Thursday, May 11, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Eric and Destiny Rowell’s love for others, spreading of light, and hard work ethic led to the opportunity of a lifetime with the opening of Grit+Grind Coffee in downtown Opp.

Grit+Grind started its operations out of a trailer August 1, 2022, and recently opened a storefront Thursday, April 27.

“We are always looking for ways we can invest and grow financially. The idea was birthed from how can we create a profitable business and also meet the need to serve the community. We love coffee, so it’s a little bit of a blend for all those things,” Eric said.

The couple is originally from the Mississippi Gulf Coast but has called Opp home for nearly six years.

“It’s a small community with a little over 6,000 people, and you just cross paths with people you have never seen. We have met so many people throughout this journey and wonder what we would do without them. Eric and I are often asked why Opp. We fell in love with the people, and it continues to be proven when people walk up to our trailer or the shop. That’s one of the biggest things I’m grateful for,” Destiny stated.

Grit+Grind was derived from a combination of two traits they possess. Their slogan “No Grit, No Pearl” comes from a childhood nickname Destiny was given by her father.

“I always say I’m the grit, and he is the grind. When I developed our brand concept, I knew I wanted to serve entrepreneurs, workers, students, and people working from home. I built a brand working around that ideal customer client, and it matches who we are as people. It’s neat to see people from all walks of life come to our shop and do business with us. This is definitely a hub for creativity and personal growth,” she said.

They serve a wide assortment of products including cold coffee, hot coffee, handcrafted flavored lemonade, fruit refreshers, and sweet treats. Keto-friendly and sugar-free options are also available.

“Our cold coffee is made from cold brew, which is a different type of extraction. We also have your typical hot coffees, which are mostly drip coffees. We also have espresso that allows you to taste more of where the bean comes from,” Eric said.

In addition, the business also produces specialty coffee with beans from Brazil and Peru.

“It boils down to where the bean is derived and the quality of the bean. We make sure every bean that comes through our machines is to that standard where we can label it as specialty,” Destiny said. “We mainly do a Brazilian blend with a smooth, natural origin but have launched a blend of Brazil and Peru. The Peru will have a citrus flavor. We will have all types of origins and be a hub for a variety of beans,” Eric added.

According to Destiny, the secret ingredient that makes their coffee stand out is love.

“It’s not really what’s in the cup but more about the experience. The moment you walk in the door, you are greeted and educated on coffee. You always leave with something you are satisfied with, and we have created an environment at the trailer and in our shop where people want to come and hang out. More than anything, we pride ourselves on our customer service and spreading light,” she said.

Destiny expressed appreciation for the support they receive from the community.

“You will feel like your money was worth it when you come here. Even if you come and don’t buy anything, you will get loved on. Our life motto is always leave something better than you found it.”

The couple furthered their coffee knowledge in New York as well as other locations.

“We have driven across state lines to shadow mentors and learn everything we need to help us grow. Eric went to roasting school a few months ago,” Destiny said. “If you are ultimately putting out positivity, you are going to receive that. We try to live a life now where we spread light,” he added.

They are often asked why they chose to put Grit+Grind in Opp.

“I can buy a building for less than I could somewhere else. The community has been awesome to us since we came here. We have lived in big cities as well as small cities and towns and have learned there are pros and cons everywhere. You see the glass half full or half empty,” he said.

Although they have their trailer and a storefront, future plans are to expand the business.

“We are trying to do baby steps and not grow too fast. We send our trailer to Andalusia often and have a good following over there. It would be the perfect fit to flow over that way and eventually grow to some surrounding counties. We also have our first licensee in Mississippi,” Destiny stated. “Since day one, we were thinking five steps ahead and where we wanted to be long-term,” Eric said.

Grit+Grind’s most popular coffee is the salty OG (salty original gangster), which is a cold brew base with salted caramel and toffee. The drink is topped with a sweet cream and a salted caramel toffee drizzle and is served iced, frozen, or hot.

“Last fall, we did a butterscotch with caramel and toffee. I bought butterscotch flavoring by itself that was not good. We broke it down and returned to the two flavors. One of our lead baristas Kymbria suggested we do salted caramel instead,” Destiny said.

The business, which currently employs three lead baristas and four supporting staff, also holds pop-ups and attends community events when they are available.

Grit+Grind is located at 108 West Covington Avenue in Opp. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hours for the trailer are weekdays from 7 to 11 a.m.

For more information visit, visit gritandgrind_coffee on Instagram, message Grit+Grind Coffee on Facebook Messenger, or call 334-504-8378.