DeWitt coffee shop prioritizes health, community

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A coffee shop that promotes good health? Welcome to Reputation Beverage Co. in DeWitt.

Formerly known as The Crafted Bean, Reputation Beverage Co. opened in 2017 in downtown DeWitt offering products such as coffee, tea and kombucha. The products are made from local ingredients, such as raw honey from farms near the Sleeping Bear Dunes. 

The product it serves that has become its claim to fame is kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented tea packed with probiotics. According to a Feb. 11 article in TIME, these probiotics are acquired through the fermentation process and can improve digestion.

Amy Phillips, general manager of Reputation Beverage Co., said she swears by the benefits that kombucha provides consumers.

“Probiotics are the No. 1 reason people drink it,” Phillips said. “They are the key to kombucha.”  

The kombucha is canned right inside the shop. The company’s canned kombucha has entered stores across the state. Its products are being sold in cities including Grand Rapids, Flint, Battle Creek and some areas of Detroit. 

Raymond “Gus” Gustafson, 81, has followed Reputation Beverage Co. on its journey since Eric Elliott bought out The Crafted Bean. 

“I started coming here in 2017,” Gustafson said. “I was there the day it opened. The first customer walked in right in front of me.”

The coffee shop offers a variety of different coffee brews including cold brew, french press, aero press, pour over and more. It also has an extensive collection of beans.

“There is a difference between going into Biggby and coming to a place like here where they have all different kinds of beans,” Gustafson said.

“Here you can make more decisions on how your coffee is prepared,” Phillips said. “We are active participants in how your coffee is made.”

Amy Phillips prepares a concoction called the “Smoking Gun”, a smoke-infused coffee blend.

Reputation Beverage Co. has two locations – one in Dewitt and one in Lansing. The DeWitt location offers three flavors of kombucha on tap and two flavors of cold brew. One of the flavors, Coco Choco Latte, is expected to be sold in cans in the near future. This flavor is dairy-free, providing an option for vegan or lactose-sensitive customers.

Phillips said the company values giving back to the community by offering yoga every Thursday in DeWitt and on Mondays in Lansing. The shop has even hosted a poetry slam for third-graders. 

“We support local artists and musicians – anything to help our local area,” Phillips said.

One of the next steps for Reputation Beverage Co. is naming the gorilla pictured in its logo. The company’s gorilla logo is pictured on all of its products in order to make it recognizable. It plans to host a competition to choose a name in October or November.

“We had a crest as our logo and it didn’t speak to the owner. He just fell in love with the gorilla,” Phillips said. 

Much like his love for the gorilla, Elliott chose the name of the coffee shop based on a life motto that he holds true to his heart.

“The only thing you have is your reputation – in the end that’s all you have,” Elliott said.

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