It’s a Brewtiful day in the city of DeWitt

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Michael Dobbin

The entrance of The Crafted Bean

It’s 8 a.m. You’re grumpy and want a cup of coffee. Well, you’re in luck. In downtown Dewitt, Justin Hartig opened a gourmet coffee shop and it’s just for you. The Crafted Bean Coffee Co. is the new go-to coffee shop in the area. It’s been open since February, 2017.

Hartig opened the coffee shop to put a different craft-brewing technique to coffee. He offers a vast menu of coffee cocktails, which are delicious recipes of ingredients that mimic cocktails. Although it’s made without alcohol, he creates the coffee to be creative and tasteful.

“It’s a small downtown and I already owned a few shops in DeWitt but there wasn’t a coffee shop,” Hartig said. “I wanted to fill a void in a great town and this place deserves it. I wanted to open up something different and edgy. I thought the older community wouldn’t accept our concept but ended up with every demographic loving it.”

Hartig wanted to open up a coffee shop that gives off a different view of what a coffee shop can be, and he wanted to connect with the community of DeWitt.

“We want to create a sense of community; we want people to feel like they’re part of our family,” Hartig said. “I wanted this place to have a pub feel and didn’t want a typical standoffish coffee shop. We want people to come in, stay and feel comfortable.”

Customers love the feeling when they walk into Hartig’s shop. They automatically get a whiff of coffee, see the décor, and notice the family atmosphere.

The interior of The Crafted Bean is full of interesting designs. The one thing that stands out the most when you walk into the shop is the big painting of Johnny Cash doing his famous pose holding a cup of coffee, instead of exposing his middle finger. If you’re a local artist, Hartig even allows you to display your artwork on its wall for free.

The famous Cash mural but with coffee instead of flipping the bird.Hartig said, “This place used to be a bank and 30 years ago, there was a robbery, so we wanted there to be an outlaw feel when you walk in for a cup of coffee.”

Longtime customer Ray “Gus” Gustafson has been going to The Crafted Bean every day since it’s been open.

“You get to know the people; it’s never a walk-in rush out goodbye. I’ve been coming here every day and they’ve treated me like family ever since,” said Gustafson.

The staff makes one coffee at a time using single pots and heating templates so it’s not sitting around losing taste and flavor.

Gustafson added, “It’s brewed for me; it’s not a pot they make for everyone. They make it to order, so it feels special and that means a lot to me. That’s why I come here every day.”

Recently, The Crafted Bean decided to add gourmet waffles to its menu. One of the waffles they make is The James Gang, which is a waffle topped with maple sausage and with a creamy chive and onion spread.

From the craft made coffee-cocktails to the delicious handmade waffles, The Crafted Bean uses local produce from different businesses and the employees continue to come up with unique ideas for its cocktails.

Mitzi Nelson, manager of The Crafted Bean said, “We use a lot of local products, from our honey that we get from Sleeping Bear Dunes to our chocolate from Stoneground Chocolate. We love to use local products to create new coffee ideas. It makes us happy seeing a customer enjoying a creation we made.”

Even if you’re not near downtown DeWitt, you can still get a hand-brewed cup of coffee with The Crafted Bean’s food truck. The food truck is available for events and for rent and is licensed all over the state of Michigan.

As for Hartig, this is just the beginning. He’s opening another Crafted Bean shop in downtown Lansing on Michigan Avenue., which will be sharing a building with Moriarty’s Pub.

Hartig said he is aiming to please coffee lovers in downtown areas of Michigan one shop at a time. He always has new ideas percolating in his mind.

So next time it’s 8 a.m. and you’re grumpy for a cup of coffee, visit Justin Hartig at The Crafted Bean Co. at 116 N Bridge St. Open 7 days a week, hours vary.