Blackbird Café in Valparaiso is one of the most unique establishments that the area has to offer thanks to the delicious and interesting food concoctions that are served there, the friendly staff, and what they are best known for – coffee.
What makes their java so much better than the competition? It’s how it’s made, the quality of the beans, and where the beans are procured from that answer that question. Blackbird works in tandem with The Coffee & Tea Exchange in Chicago, an establishment that has been providing freshly roasted coffee and other related items to local businesses and all over the country since 1975.
All of the coffee that The Coffee & Tea Exchange sells is roasted at a second location which is large enough to accommodate the growing business. Though they are continuing to grow, the business has kept to their promise of keeping the prices of their coffee reasonable so that anyone can experience and enjoy great coffee.
“Small roasters like us have become the bread and butter of the business these days,” Stephen Siefer, owner of The Coffee & Tea Exchange said. “You want a small roaster that is passionate about the coffee.”
Being a small business itself, Blackbird Café is completely on board with supporting businesses with like-minded passions and aspirations.
“Our number one selling item on a daily basis is coffee,” Mary Koselke, owner of Blackbird Café said. “A cup of coffee; not a latte, or a mocha, or a sandwich, or a piece of quiche, but a cup of coffee.”
“Steve understands roasting,” Mary continued. “We trust him. Everything we have gotten from him has been great.”
But Mary emphasized that it is more than just the coffee that is important to her. The relationship that has been built between Blackbird Café and The Coffee and Tea Exchange is equally as important. Mary loves being connected to other small businesses and she as well as the rest of her staff know that in order to stay unique and ahead of the competition, a business must meet and exceed a customer’s expectations.
“[The product] has to be good. If you don’t make it good then your customers will take their business elsewhere,” Mary said. “You can meet their needs in a mediocre way or do it in a way that is thoughtful and mindful. We are trying to do things mindfully.”
Blackbird Café is rooted in Northwest Indiana, and they have the experience to remember that the big things are important, but they have the mindfulness to not forget that the little and simple things matter too - little and simple things like a nice cup of coffee.