Muddy’s Bake Shop is best known for its cupcakes, but a new foray into the world of coffee at the recently opened Muddy's Grind House may prove to be the perfect accompaniment to their lineup of goodies.
The name itself is oh-so-Memphis, and the coffee shop itself is located in a Cooper Street house on a hill. The coffee shop’s interior is modern and clean with neutrals, but adding the classic Muddy’s flair: chalkboards, pastels, and pops of color. It’s the bakery’s sibling, not a twin; if the Bake Shop is the kooky, free-spirited sister, the Grind House is the intellectual, sophisticated one.
Kat Gordon, who opened Muddy’s Bake Shop in 2008, said they’re approaching coffee the same way they did cupcakes: with a learning curve.
“We made the decision to grow the business as long as it was a different business, rather than just replicating," says Gordon. "Once that decision was made, I think it was kind of obvious. We got real excited about the idea of doing coffee.”
“We want to represent different local roasters,” Grind House manager Nicci Bucherie-Kearl says. “We’ll do pour-overs eventually. We’re all learning right now, so it’s really exciting to start with zero knowledge, and not just learn with the staff but with the customer base as well.”
A chalkboard near the patio asks for ideas: “What would you like added to the menu?” Customers’ responses on one visit suggested green tea, cinnamon toast, and sandwiches. One ambitious visitor asked for bulletproof coffee.
The drinks menu is small by design, with new items to added over time. Currently, it features brewed drip coffee, french press, cafe au lait, espresso, latte, cappuccino, and tea.
Grind House offers muffins, biscuits, slices of coffee cake, and scones, including ginger scones made from Gordon’s father’s recipe. There are cupcakes, slices of pie and cakes, cookies, and more from the Bake Shop as well.
A room attached to the main area, perhaps a parlor in another life, may soon house community events like book clubs, similar to the community-oriented environment at the Muddy’s Bake Shop in East Memphis. There’s also a patio with additional seating in the back.
“We want to be a part of the coffee culture here,” Gordon says. “There are so many places in town that do know so much, which is absolutely incredible. We really are coming to this with a very open slate, so instead of us telling people, ‘This is what we think you should be enjoying,’ we’re going to be a place that if this type of environment is interesting to someone, they can come in and learn with us. We want it to be very accessible. Nobody is going to roll their eyes at you if you say ‘expresso’ instead of ‘espresso.’”