Poplar Grind

By Kathryn Menue


On Monday, July 18, Kim Krawczyk, of Poplar Grove, started a new journey by opening her own coffee shop: Poplar Grind.

“My first day was wonderful,” Krawczyk said.

To commemorate the opening of her new business, Krawczyk held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, July 23 at 9 a.m. for community members to come and enjoy her delicious drinks and delectable bakery items.

The coffee shop filled with over 20 supporters who adored the homey, rustic atmosphere.

At the ceremony, Krawczyk cut the ribbon in front of new customers and village representatives who all welcomed Poplar Grind into the Poplar Grove business community.

“We’re all here for you, Kim,” Village of Poplar Grove President John Neitzel said. “We wish you the best in your new business venture.”

Afterward, attendees piled inside to enjoy the variety of choices at Poplar Grind, including: homemade lemonade, cocoa, coffee, specialty drinks, tea, bottled water, and Gatorade. She also had bakery items such as banana bread, cinnamon rolls, brownies, and cookies.

While customers waited for their orders, they could enjoy some free, homemade cookies and lemonade.

Krawczyk’s daughter Melanie helped out on opening day by manning the lemonade and cookie stand.

“We’re very excited [about the opening],” Melanie Krawczyk said. “She’s [Kim Krawczyk] worked so hard. She’s always wanted to open a coffee shop – just a dream come true for her.”

Krawczyk decided to create Poplar Grind in March. She is a teacher at North Boone and submitted her intent for early retirement a few years in advance to give the district time to find a replacement.

However, Krawczyk didn’t want to stop working altogether, so she came up with the idea of creating her own coffee shop with bakery treats for the community to enjoy.

“I put in my intent to retire early. I thought, ‘What am I going to do when I retire?’ and this opportunity just kind of happened,” Krawczyk said.

She said people have commented on how much they love her baking, so she figured she could turn one of her side passions into her future work.

Melanie said the funny thing is that her mother only drinks black coffee.

However, Kim Krawczyk did her homework by studying other coffee shops and asking anyone and everyone what kind of coffee drinks they like, so that she could learn how to make them for her coffee shop.

Krawczyk plans on running her shop by herself during the summer and early fall each year until she fully retires from teaching. Then, she plans to have the shop open for business year round.

“I’m doing this just by myself,” Krawczyk said. “I’m figuring things out as I go. Knock on wood, it’s working out okay.”

Krawczyk even did most of the work on her shop herself.

Her daughter Melanie said that she painted and decorated the shop on her own.

“This has been all her [Kim],” Melanie said. “She doesn’t really want any help. She’s very determined.”

Another reason Krawczyk decided to start her own coffee shop was to keep herself occupied now that her three children are grown and out of the house. Two have careers and are living on their own, and one, Melanie, will leave for college soon.

“This is kind of like my new baby,” Krawczyk said. “I needed something. It was calling to me. I’m enjoying it.”

However, Krawczyk did say she was thankful she decided not to hold the ribbon cutting on opening day because her first day proved to be more hectic than she predicted.

But, the opening did give her a chance to catch up with old students who came to Poplar Grind as customers.

“It was nice to catch up with them and see how they’re doing,” Krawczyk said.

Krawczyk would love to see new and old faces come to Poplar Grind.

Poplar Grind is located at 104 W. Main St. in Poplar Grove, right across from Arturo’s Restaurant. It is open Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, call (815) 519-0651 or go to Poplar Grind’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Poplar-Grind.






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