Don’t forget to keep washing those hands, maintain physical distance from others outside your household and mask up while you support local businesses within the region. For the latest COVID updates in the region, please visit the Hastings-Prince Edward Public Health website. Thanks for keeping our community as safe as possible.
The Grind was a decade-old coffee shop that many Quinte West locals had grown to love. Taylor Russett, a local wedding photographer and passionate entrepreneur, was one of them. His family is close with the original owner, Colin Conroy, and when Taylor learned that the business was for sale, he took the next steps to begin its transformation into The Grind and Vine.
From the outside, it’s still the café you know and love, but as I walked in the recent renovations immediately pulled me in further. The modern and clean interior combined with a cozy, welcoming and original feel leads you to the counter where your eyes are met with a display of cakes, local sandwiches, baked goods, wine and a beautifully designed menu.
Steel walls, a stunning countertop, little pops of colour and a vibrant neon sign pull the entire place together, making this the perfect spot (when indoor dining is permitted) for date night, a quiet night out with your bubble, coffee with a colleague or client, and an inspiring place to work when you need a break from the remote life.
On top of that, the small team of four are all friendly and approachable. You’re guaranteed to be met with a smile (behind the masks, but you can still tell) upon walking in. I could go on all day about the little details that make this space so pleasant to be in, but I’ll let you in on the best part — the food and drink.
Taylor’s vision for The Grind and Vine is to focus on coffee, “the authentic Italian way; not the Starbucks way,” as he put it, as well as a social community feel with the Vine portion.
If you’re like me and think about coffee as soon as your feet hit the floor rolling out of bed, their coffee selection is sure to impress. The coffee comes from Reunion Coffee Roasters, a supplier that focuses on the positive environmental impact of choosing Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee.
I’m usually pretty plain and order a black coffee, but I went all out and ordered a latte when I visited The Grind and Vine; it added some extra warmth to my morning! You can tell that they put in a lot of effort to make their beverages, including light or dark roast drip coffee, espresso, and specialty drinks, with skill and care. On the topic of lattes, you will also find chai lattes, London fogs and Taylor’s favourite, a honey vanilla tea latte!
Some new sweet additions to the business are the cakes and baked goods that are all made in-house! It was really difficult for me not to buy everything. Grab a croissant, tart, or scone to go with that coffee or tea. Or, if it’s closer to lunchtime, ask about the house-made soup of the day or get a sandwich, brought in from Flossie’s in Prince Edward County.
When dining in is permitted, evenings are warm and welcoming here, too; start with a glass of wine from Huff Estates and a lovely charcuterie board with an assortment of snacks from fellow downtown business Trenton Delicatessen.
Sitting down with Taylor, I had to ask: how was reopening a business during a pandemic? “My dreams weren’t crushed as I planned the reopening and rebrand with COVID-19 in mind,” Taylor answered.
The business was designed to function through a challenging time while remaining cozy and intimate and allowing for future growth. Taylor is considering plans to expand the space to allow for more seating, creating a go-to spot for date night and a local wine scene. He also suggested there would be more opportunities for events like open mic nights and industry nights.
The Grind and Vine is cozy, intimate, welcoming and full of passionate (masked) smiles and treats. Grab your mask and swing by for a warm drink to-go while you brave a cold walk along the river — and please give Taylor and the staff a compliment or two on the new space and menu!