GRIDLEY, Ill. (WMBD) –A cup of coffee, a serving of smiles and a feeling of community is what you’ll find at one Gridley coffee shop.
“It’s been fun to kind of become a little bit of a destination spot,” said Katrina Reinhard.
Katrina and her husband, Kyle own Common Grounds Cafe and Pie Shop. But for them, the shop is more about community than it is coffee.
“We really wanted to have a place that brought people together,” said Kyle. “Katrina and I both grew up in small towns. We loved the fact that you knew your neighbors. Sometimes that’s good. Sometimes that’s bad. But we know Gridley itself is just a great place.”
The husband and wife team transformed an unconventional space along Route 24 to open up shop in November of 2017.
Katrina said, “We found this old gas station. We had—it’s a community icon and we wanted to keep it. We wanted to save it and restore it.”
Doing so gave Gridley a gust of life. The energy was more than the Reinhards expected.
“Our original vision, when we had started Common Grounds was—it was probably naive, but we only wanted it to be like three people and just local and small and really cozy. And we realized really quickly Gridley had a need for more,” said Kyle.
In a matter of a year, the husband and wife team went from managing a team of two employees at Common Grounds Cafe and Pie Shop to 27 employees just to keep up with the demand. The shop relies on the help of local high school and college students, as well as family members. The process hasn’t been easy, but the Reinhards say they rely on their faith to lead the way.
“We’ve found that in this process over the past two and a half years, we have been way more successful–not necessarily profitable—I want to separate those things. But we’ve been more successful and way more fulfilled by praying through a decision and waiting on God’s timing,” said Kyle.
The Reinhards say their passions for hospitality and service started with their parents, who regularly hosted get-togethers with loved ones.
Kyle said, “Both my parents and [Katrina’s] parents were involved with just different levels of hospitality through church events, potluck and you name it. It was our joy to get together with people and provide a nice warm meal or a fun evening of games or whatever it may be.”
Katrina and Kyle ultimately followed suit in their own way. They say they’ve felt Gridley rally around them.
“Growing up here, I knew and appreciated the community,” said Katrina. “What I didn’t realize is just how supportive everyone is and how everyone sees the need for a place to come and hang out with friends.”
It’s an opportunity the Reinhards are excited to be a part of.
“Gridley is an exciting place. It’s a small town, but it’s a big town. It’s got a lot of heart. And we’ve really just seen Gridley continue to grow in excitement for locality,” Kyle said.
Common Grounds Cafe and Pie Shop is located at 102 W. Gridley Rd. in Gridley.