Hello and welcome to my blog! If you don’t know me or maybe you do know me, but don’t know that much about me, here’s a quick introduction: My name is Mallory Root, I am a devout Catholic, I graduated from Hillsdale College with a B.A. in Art (Go Chargers!), and I have since gone on to illustrate a few children’s books and dabble in wedding photography. I enjoy crazy adventures, like biking across America with my dad (BEST TRIP EVER!), and sharing the love of God with everyone I meet. Someone once asked me what a life goal of mine was and without thinking I responded with, “To make at least one person smile everyday.” That, at the core, is who I am and how I try and live my life.
My job as a barista at The Elbow Room in Flushing has been the perfect opportunity for me to spread God’s love to others and improve the mood of everyone who walks through the door. (Making the world just a little brighter. Matthew 5:16) It has also given me the experience, courage, and confidence to set out and achieve a long standing goal of mine, the dream of owning my own coffee shop. The dream is not actually my own, but one inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is a job for which God has specifically designed for me. This spark He has placed in me has set fire and my passion is now becoming a reality.
The café known as Roots Brew Shop will be located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It will not be your run-of-the-mill coffee shop. With the coffee, we plan on serving beer and wine, and a variety of food. Everything in the shop will be supplied locally; the coffee beans locally roasted, the food from a local chef (Gooder Catering), the beer from local brewers (lots of tasty options), and the wine from the state of Michigan.
It will be the perfect place to grab a cup of caffeine and do some homework, stop in and snag some lunch, visit with friends over a pint of beer, or unwind with a glass of wine. It is a place where everyone who walks in will feel welcomed and encouraged. A place where community is built and delicious food and drink are enjoyed.
That’s the dream, the goal I am working toward, the awesome new adventure I’ve embarked on. However, an adventure is always more fun with an accomplice. My amazing, encouraging, and creative friend Austin has chosen to join me as the co-owner of this dream and business. He has a wonderful and artistic vision for the coffee shop and is dedicated to seeing it become a reality. We are excited to blend together our ideas, hard work, and talents to create this new shop and to spread the love of God in a personal and relational way. As it is said, two are greater than one, and with the two of us working together this dream can and will develop into a successful business.
Austin and I continue to learn many lessons, several about the industry and business, many about one another, and even more about ourselves. It’s amazing what you discover about yourself when you begin a journey like this, doing something you’ve never done before and something that challenges you in every way. Some of these discoveries are encouraging and build you up, while others can really test your self-confidence and threaten to push you off course. But that is the nature of growing and moving forward isn’t it, to be able to face challenges head-on and figure out how to make it through.
Being an independent person, I try and do as much as possible on my own. I also take great joy in serving others. These are good traits and I am lucky they come easy to me. However, they have created some opposing challenges. They have made it difficult for me to ask for help and service from others. The process of starting a new business and learning all about a world I never thought I’d need to understand is exhausting and doing everything on my own was quickly draining me of my drive to accomplish my goal. When I spoke of my exhaustion with those close to me they pointed out my problem pretty plainly. This wasn’t a struggle with service or independence but with pride. Ouch!
When you don’t share your struggles and needs with others you shut the door to God’s love. When you refuse to humble yourself and allow others a chance to serve you, you are refusing God an opportunity to help you as well. We are all created to serve, but also to be served. If no one accepted the service of others how could we fulfill our purpose as servants? Mother Teresa could never have accomplished her work without people to serve. The same is true of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and all other saints and faithful.
That’s what I was doing. I was refusing to share my challenges with others. Sharing my joy was easy, but to express my need for help wasn’t so much. It has been an emotional lesson to learn, but a beautiful one as well. When you open the door to others the love that pours in on you is overwhelming. You never know whom God will use to provide you assistance or in what form His love will take, but somehow it’s exactly what you need. God is so faithful that way, all we need to do is trust Him with our deepest trials.
The reality of this journey is that it is not my own. As a friend reminded me, this is not my dream but one inspired by the Holy Spirit. This is His place for which He has asked Austin and me to be the stewards. This is a journey we are taking WITH God not FOR God. He is responsible for all the opportunities and knowledge we have already received and will provide for all the needs that have yet to be filled.
A good way to be reminded that this is His brew shop and not ours is to allow others an opportunity to support it, to support us, and have a hand in creating the place. As His coffee shop, it fits that it is a place where community and relationships are built and His love is present. So we are opening the door to His love and asking the community building to begin now.
Our greatest need right now is for prayer. Please pray that above all His will be done and that we remain open to all God is asking of us. We also want to give people the chance to have a bigger hand in the success of the business. We have created a GoFundMe account that allows anyone who wants to financially assist Roots Brew Shop to be able to do so. Any and all donations will help and we are extremely grateful for the support. If this is something you’d like to do, here is the link: Roots Brew Shop
To acknowledge the community that helped make this dream a reality and to thank everyone who supports this mission we will be creating a piece of art that displays the names of all the participants. This piece will be permanently on display in the shop so all can see that our business was created with the support of many. We would love to add your name to the art!
There is truly no way this dream would be possible without the encouragement and support of family and friends. Thank you just doesn’t seem adequate to express our gratitude. God has blessed us far beyond anything we could have ever asked for. Thank you all so much for blessing our lives and sharing His love with us.
God created Austin and me with particular skills and talents that we deeply desire to use for the building up of His Kingdom. He also created us for relationship and community. With all of these working together His will can be accomplished. So the question is… are you ready to take this adventure with us?