AKRON, Ohio – The new Compass Coffee is intended to be many things to the Middlebury neighborhood.
The coffee shop recently opened on East Exchange Street, in the former First Presbyterian Church now home to the Well Community Development Corp., which works to strengthen the Middlebury neighborhood.
The goal of the shop is to generate revenue to reinvest in the community, said the Well’s Executive Director Zac Kohl.
Compass Coffee also emphasizes coffee as a craft.
“Like a compass, being multi-directional, we’re bringing coffee from all over the country, from a lot of micro-roasters that focus on sustainability so it’s often a higher quality coffee,” said Compass Coffee Director Eric Razo. “We want to create a healthy coffee culture in Akron.”
While other roasts will rotate every few weeks, Compass Coffee’s house brew is Zips for Haiti coffee, offered through a unique partnership between a university student group and Akron Coffee Roasters. The students sell the coffee to raise $90,000 to give a Haitian student a four-year scholarship to UA.
Offering coffee, tea and locally sourced bread and pastries, Compass Coffee’s pricing is in the middle.
“On the coffee shop spectrum, we’re the the happy medium between snooty coffee shop and every day coffee shop,” Razo said.
With about 3,000 square feet, Compass offers enough space for students to study in one area while a party is underway across the room. Open seven days a week, the shop has a huge calendar painted on one wall, announcing special events and weekly happenings, such as Tuesday open mike nights.
Seeking to draw in all populations — from nearby Summa Health System and UA to underserved neighbors — Compass Coffee recently launched a voucher program that allows customers to donate an extra dollar to help pay for coffee for homeless or displaced…