Pinky Promise Coffee – a new coffee roaster in Sturgeon Bay – has launched despite these unpredictable pandemic times. For the name of the new business, owner and roaster Sean Grorich took inspiration from a tradition that he and his daughter began: When you make a pledge to do something, a pinky promise seals the deal. With Pinky Promise Coffee, he’s promised to provide the best-quality coffee that he can with the means available to him.
Grorich has cultivated a passion for coffee over the years, including during a five-year span when he lived in Seattle, within walking distance of 12 independent coffee shops.
“I’ve really gotten into exploring the artistry and craft of roasting, and just generally have a good time behind the roaster,” Grorich said.
Originally from central Wisconsin, he served in the Air Force before returning to school at UW-Eau Claire for a bachelor’s degree in nursing. After also completing a master’s in nurse anesthesia and becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist, he worked in rural hospitals until an injury ended his medical career.
Having spent a lot of time in Door County on vacations with his husband, Josh Puetz, Grorich’s life change opened the door for them to relocate.
“My husband’s parents retired here several years ago, and we’ve always loved the area, so when my injury took me out of practice, we decided to set down roots here.”
Right now, Pinky Promise’s roasting facility is not open for retail purchases, but that’s part of the future plans.
“For now,” Grorich said, “we are collaborating with local businesses to carry our products, which we hope will continue to expand, and which will continue to be updated on our website.”
Look for Pinky Promise Coffee at Bay Shore Outfitters, Madison Avenue Market and Econofoods, all in Sturgeon Bay, with more retailers in the county on the way.
“We also hope to join with local restaurants looking to offer locally roasted, quality specialty coffee,” Grorich said.
“Like many specialty coffee roasters, I like to think that my passion for quality coffee is poured – pun intended – into trying to bring out the best of the green coffee beans into what people will find a pleasure to drink,” Grorich said. “I love hearing someone who is used to drinking ‘only certain coffees’ or ‘only with sugar and/or cream’ sip coffee brewed with my beans, and stating, ‘Oh, this is so smooth, and it isn’t even bitter.’”