Today, the Grove is a thriving district that hosts a diverse range of businesses offering up street murals, craft beers, global food choices, dance floors, and spots to shop and grab a coffee. For the month of October, we decided to sit down and chat with one local business owner of a coffee shop that serves as a “community hub” in The Grove.
Meet the Owner
Jessie Mueller is the founder of Rise Coffee House, a cozy, laidback, woman-
owned coffee shop that opened in The Grove in 2013. Before opening Rise,
Jessie was pursuing a master’s degree in social work and working at Park Central Development, where she was assisting with neighborhood beautification projects. While at Park Central, she noticed that The Grove was missing something… a place to grab a cup of coffee. Jessie returned to Rise earlier this year after stepping back in 2015 to expand her family and stay home with her son. When asked why she chose The Grove as home to her business, she answered, “Because its the best neighborhood in St. Louis. I mean the proximity to everything happening in the central corridor, the architecture, the diversity, on top of the general feeling and energy of this neighborhood. It is just unmatched”.
Jessie opened Rise Coffee House with a passion to address some of the discrepancies and problems within the St. Louis area. She wanted to address those discrepancies in some form by creating an accessible space that could play a part in rebuilding and healing the city. Rise was opened with the people in mind, but also as a place for everyone to come together and enjoy quality coffee and food.
Jessie makes an effort to hire from within The Grove community, and to maintain a diverse team of people from different socioeconomic and race backgrounds. Out of the 25 staff members, half are people of color, over half identify as Queer, and a quarter of the staff are residents of The Grove neighborhood. Part of the mission of Rise Coffee House is facilitating a team that is representative of its value system and committed to eliminating barriers.
In the next 5 years, Jessie has big plans for Rise. She hopes to add to the Rise brunch experience by roasting coffee onsite and creating a greener and more sustainable space. Rise Coffee House was recently Green Dining Alliance certified, which recognizes restaurants that are making efforts to lower their environmental impact. By Fall 2019, Jessie plans to implement a greener business model which includes using compostable paper straws and sourcing bacon locally.
Rise Coffee House is an active member of the community, hosting events and fundraising for organizations around St. Louis. Recently, they hosted Queer Soup Night, in which all proceeds go to an organization, Queer and Transgender People of Color in St. Louis. Similarly, Rise has a program, Coffee for the People, which gives customers the option of purchasing a cup of coffee for anyone who may not be able to afford it. Rise will also begin fundraising for immigrants and families that are experiencing displacement due to immigration laws.
www.risecoffeestl.com or check them out on Facebook and Instagram at @risecoffeestl .