Glenwood Grounds Coffee Shop Grand Opening Saturday

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Standing narrow and tall near a busy intersection in Youngstown, Glenwood Grounds Café will celebrate its grand opening Saturday.

Located at 2906 Glenwood Ave., Glenwood Grounds has been open for about a month. Built in 1925, the brick building is flanked by parking lots and has a modern, trendy and humble look to it.

Inside, the walls are white and adorned with colorful art. The original tin ceiling is still intact, and hardwood floors add to the coffee-shop feel.

It was a calling to serve a Youngstown community that led Gary Koerth and wife Cindy to start a new chapter. Koerth, a former pastor, worked on revitalization within the Glenwood-area neighborhood over the last decade. As the Koerths got more involved, they decided to sell their Austintown home and purchase one closer to the café. 

“We just fell in love with the neighborhood,” Gary Koerth says.

Together, the Koerths began a new ministry, Hope for Renewal, a nonprofit which runs Glenwood Grounds Café.

“We wanted to bring hope and peace, to try and restore that,” he says. “Our desire is that Glenwood Grounds will be a comfortable place for our neighborhood to gather for a great cup of coffee, awesome food and experience an atmosphere of community, care and hope.”

It’s the Koerths’ mission to do community outreach, providing a sense of encouragement and belonging, they say. Hope for Renewal hosts weekly picnics from June through October as a way to bring the community together. “Our goal is to build community and build relationships,” Koerth says.

They acquired the building in August 2017 and renovated the structure over the next four years, investing more than $150,000, Koerth says. Donations and volunteers have made Glenwood Grounds possible, he adds.

Glenwood Grounds is in a food desert, Koerth says. Located near the corner of Glenwood Avenue and Canfield Road, it’s several miles until the nearest store or community place for gathering.

It’s the first project of several in that vicinity, says Ian Benniston, executive director of Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. “We’ll be building more energy at that intersection” with a fresh market going into the plaza across the street from Glenwood Grounds.

Branch Street Coffee is used at the café and is roasted on Glenwood Avenue in a YNDC-owned building about six blocks to the north of Glenwood Grounds, Beniston says.

“I see this as another important piece in the overall body of work underway on Glenwood,” he says of the coffee shop. “It’s a good project. We’re excited to have them.”

It’s within the busy Glenwood corridor, which commuters use to travel between Boardman and Youngstown, Koerth says. The hope is that word starts to spread about the coffee shop and people stop in on their way to work or to meet and talk business over a cup of coffee.

“People can come experience care and encouragement,” Koerth says. 

While fresh-ground coffee and a few sweet treats are on the affordable menu, Koerth looks to expand offerings once business picks up. Baked goods, ranging from bagels, cinnamon rolls and muffins, will be served at Saturday’s grand opening, along with specialty coffee drinks, tea and hot chocolate.

Glenwoods Grounds Café is run by a group of volunteers, and is open from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.