Small business feature: Midnight Espresso

Early morning customers grab a cup of coffee at Midnight Espresso. This local coffee shop focuses on giv- ing customers the best possible experience with fresh coffee and homemade baked goods. Photo by Tori Moses.
Early morning customers grab a cup of coffee at Midnight Espresso. This local coffee shop focuses on giv- ing customers the best possible experience with fresh coffee and homemade baked goods. Photo by Tori Moses.
Early morning customers grab a cup of coffee at Midnight Espresso. This local coffee shop focuses on giv- ing customers the best possible experience with fresh coffee and homemade baked goods. Photo by Tori Moses.

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Students can enjoy freshly made pastries, sandwiches, danishes and more with their java at Midnight Espresso, a local coffee shop.

Ryan Smith, manager of Midnight Espresso, said the shop started by only selling coffee when it opened three years ago in its location at 3641 N. Meadowbrook Rd.

“I’ve always wanted to find this mix of really good coffee and really good food, so as the shop has developed, we started making our own baked goods,” Smith said.

According to Smith most of the ingredients the business uses are from Stewards of the Land, a co-op of local farms.

“We have a connection with the product that I don’t think you can have if you just buy your donuts or danishes,” he said.

Smith said he thinks making food from scratch is beneficial to all people, especially individuals with allergies or who are health conscious.

“If people ask us what is in our products, we are able to go through and list every ingredient,” Smith said. “We are able to put people at ease about [our products], and we feel very confident about what we do.”

Smith said Midnight Espresso tries to get away from the pretentiousness that comes with the coffee industry.

“People come in and they spend $4 for a cup of coffee, and I think a lot of people are intimidated by that, and people are intimidated by people who have snotty attitudes about it,” Smith said. “People spend their hard earned money to come in here … and that’s something I don’t take very lightly.”

Smith said the majority of Midnight Espresso’s customers are regulars, and he has been able to get to know them on a personal level.

“I think a lot of that is because we try to be as welcoming as we can,” Smith said. “We try to grow relationships with people, and I think that gets lost a lot of times in business because of the daily grind [when] all you care about is, ‘As long as we make this amount of money.'”

According to Smith, Midnight Espresso currently has 24 seats, but they are in the process of expanding to 30 seats, which is expected to be done by the end of April.

“We’ve always been a little limited [with space], but we’ve just wanted to create this clean, welcoming atmosphere to where people feel really welcome,” he said.

Midnight Espresso is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Additionally, a special brunch menu is available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.