The Story Behind Lake Effect Coffee Co.

The Story Behind Lake Effect Coffee Co.

Apr 01, 2023Collin Benz

I grew up in northern Wisconsin, where the nearest metropolitan area was around 2 hours away. I frequently connected with neighbors, strangers, and anyone who seemed like they needed someone to talk to. From there, my passion to make people feel known and connected developed. I left northern Wisconsin to pursue my business degree in the greater Milwaukee area, where my entrepreneurial spirit further sprouted.

One of the best ways I know how to connect with people is through coffee. During the first days of the pandemic, I would make chai for my girlfriend (now wife) and her roommates. This then led me to invite the downstairs residents to share a cup, as well as; anyone else who was free. We would sip our chai and talk about the changes to our days, often laughing about the numerous times we used Clorox on door handles. I feel that in the present, it has never been more important to connect with people in our post-COVID world. For this reason, we have taken the chai from our early get-togethers and brought it to our city through a mobile coffee bike. What started as just a few Saturdays a month, has now evolved into a community of coffee and tea fanatics who, through our mission, feel known and connected. With the same mindset to better know and connect with our community, we want to open a space where we can better serve the needs of our city.

I see our future shop as a unique space and a far-reaching tool to connect people. Each cup of coffee is much more than a cup, it's sharing life with your neighbor, it's celebrating achievements, it's knowing and connecting with someone who may be different than you.

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