Chamber Blog

The Chamber Work Cafe: A Member Productivity & Networking Hub

Here’s Why Our Members Love Using The Chamber Work Cafe

One of our favorite features of the new Chamber office is most definitely the work cafe, which comes with free Wi-Fi, unlimited coffee from Ferris Coffee & Nut, and relaxing background music to help our members be as productive as possible.

Whether the space is being used for meetings with clients or coworkers, as a remote “break room” in between appointments, or a place to keep your headphones on and catch up on emails, we want our members to think of the work cafe as their home away from home. Did we mention that the work cafe is also a great way to capture on-the-spot networking opportunities and more face-to-face time with  Chamber staff?

Change in Scenery, Change in Outlook

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For entrepreneurs, the cafe is the chance to sit down and work among like-minded people in a productive atmosphere. After all, it can be hard to muster up the drive to get things done at home or at a coffee shop when you have little to no accountability. Our work cafe offers an environment that fosters all the collaboration of an office, minus the politics.

The life of an entrepreneur can be a lonely one. Interactions are an important part of daily life. Though you’ll be working on your own business, our work cafe also offers networking opportunities that can leave you feeling energized, social, and happy. You can even use your new friends as a sounding board for your ideas!

For employees and professionals, escaping from the office rat race and working off-site can be both refreshing and productive. It’s the ideal environment for brainstorming and making strategic decisions. We’ve all been in our office’s conference rooms where we’ve met time and time again. When this happens, people tend to take the same seat and stare out the same window, feeling uninspired or distracted. By moving your meeting to an offsite location, you lift some of the barriers that stifle creativity. Offsite venues also enable employees to break out of their usual office roles and relate to one another in different ways, which can generate meaningful, creative ideas.

In short, whether you’re an entrepreneur, a full-time employee, or even a CEO, any and all of our members can benefit from using our work cafe. Don’t believe us? Hear it from four of our work cafe regulars!

Four Chamber Members Share Why They’re Work Cafe Regulars

Jon Reibel
President/OwnerAlchemy Hour LLC

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Why he comes to the work cafe: There’s a lot to be said for having a space like this where you can not only work and have meetings but also collaborate with others from the community along with your friends at the Chamber. I’ve been on an island for a long time, working at home, and not being in contact with other business owners. It gets lonely, so coming here and being able to connect with people who share the same experience as me means a lot.

What he loves about it: I love the open concept and all the sunlight and windows. The free coffee is great too! Plus, the staff is really friendly. It’s a great fit for me.

Kristine Kletke
President, PMSI Marketing & Social Media

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Why she comes to the work cafe: I’m a remote worker, so the cafe is perfect for me. A lot of times I have different meetings and appointments downtown and I just need a space to work. This is a great place to be productive, and you get hot tea and coffee, which is amazing. I’m also meeting a lot of people here, making connections, and get to feel like I’m part of something.

What she loves about it: As a Chamber member, there’s a lot of value to the cafe. One big plus is just getting to know everyone at the Chamber and staying connected. I was part of Leadership Grand Rapids 2018, and when that ended, I had this sense of loss. Being at the cafe helps me keeps in touch with the people that I got close with during that process, as well as feel part of the West Michigan business community. I love having the space and quiet time to get some things done when I’m on-the-go. While I mostly use the space for heads-down work, I’ve also had meetings here since it’s a great environment for people to meet clients or work with their team.

Chris Heileman
CEOUccello’s Hospitality Group

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Why he comes to the work cafe: I like to come here when I need to get caught up on my emails or if I’ve got a project I need to work on uninterrupted. The work cafe is a nice, open space and it’s a good change of pace from my office, which is a more of an enclosed individual space. It’s easy for me to focus on what I need to get done when I’m here.

What he loves about it: I love the coffee! That’s one of the biggest perks. It’s also great that I can come here to get work done, but there’s also a social aspect to it with all the refreshments and the community tables. You can choose to interact with people if that’s what you want to do, or you just can do heads-down work at one of the smaller tables too.

Cortney Tillman
General Manager, Mayan Chocolate & Ice Cream

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Why he comes to the work cafe: Our team uses the work cafe as our office! We do our interviews, staff meetings, and even our tedious paperwork here. Everyone knows me by name already! I’m here pretty much every day.

What he loves about it: It’s a fun environment but still keeps things professional and work-inducing. The staff here is awesome too.


Not a Grand Rapids Chamber member yet? There are many other perks beyond the Work Cafe. Contact us to learn more. You can even set up a tour of our space or meet with someone from our Membership Engagement Team to discuss the membership level that best suits you!

Anna Young Administrator
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