Small-business spotlight

SMALL-BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Grindhouse Cafe, Griffith

2012-12-10T12:00:00Z SMALL-BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Grindhouse Cafe, GriffithDiane Poulton Times Correspondent
December 10, 2012 12:00 pm  • 

GRIFFITH | Running a coffee cafe comes naturally to Gabriel Mauch and his sister, Kathryn.

“Coffee has always been around in our family,” Mauch said. “Kate and I got hooked by our grandma (Leona) Bramlet who would serve us coffee in Care Bear mugs when we were kids. The coffee was mostly milk and sugar but it was still coffee.”

Entering Grindhouse Café, 146 N. Broad St., customers are greeted by the inviting aroma of brewing coffee. Bright colored walls and café-style tables and chairs are flanked by comfy corner sofas arranged for relaxed conversation.

Counters and shelves are adorned with decorated tea pots of varying sizes and designs. A sign by the register reads “I love you a latte.”

In addition to fresh roasted coffee from Chicago’s Metropolis Coffee Company and organic tea from Milwaukee’s Rishi Tea, sodas, hot chocolate, cappuccino, lattes and smoothies are served. House-made pastries are served. The menu includes an assortment of sandwiches ranging from pulled pork to turkey and fruit and spring mix salads. The café also caters small gatherings and delivers with a minimum charge.

“What sets us apart is that with our culinary training, our food is on an elevated level from most cafes,” Mauch said. “We bake all of our own pastries. Our coffee and tea come from artisan sources and we take a lot of care in the preparation.”

Mauch’s business philosophy is simple: “Open the door. Make good coffee. Be nice."

Both Mauches have worked in the culinary profession since they were teenagers.

“I have never had a job not working with food,” Gebriel Mauch said. “We went to culinary school together in 2004. Although we both got degrees in culinary arts, Kate really excelled at pastries.”

Mauch has worked at five different coffee shops, as head chef at Three Floyds for several years, as the sous chef of a Chicago sushi restaurant and at a casino steakhouse.

“Kate worked with me at one of those coffee shops and also at Three Floyds,” Mauch said. “After working there she went on to work in the pastry department at the Horseshoe Casino, where she is now a supervisor in table games.”

Mauch said he was not interested in opening a full-service restaurant but working at coffee shops intrigued him. The name was chosen because of Mauch’s love of grindhouse-style movies and “grind is coffee-ish and house sounds welcoming.”

Mauch said Chef Erik Williams taught him how to run a restaurant.

His other role model, his grandfather Don Bramlet, taught him to be proud of who you are and always do the right thing.

Mauch said future plans include adding live music.

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