What a difference a day makes—or in this case, the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee. Jim Bolt spent his entire career working as the one person most want to avoid: a dentist. Now, droves happily rush to his work each week at The Village Grind. “It’s amazing,” the retired dentist shares, just two weeks after opening the coffeehouse on Pendleton Street. “This allows me a lot more freedom. In dentistry, you’re confined to the office pretty much all day. You’re on a strict time regimen and try to stay on schedule with appointments. Now I enjoy meeting people, watching them relax, and learning the coffee business.”
The dream to open a java hot spot has been percolating between Jim and his wife Candace for years. “I’m of the Friends generation,” explains the high-energy mom and teacher. “I just loved the idea of friends having a place to hang out that wasn’t necessarily a meat-market bar. I always wanted to be a barista, but who has time? It’s one of those things you always want to do, but it’s not gonna happen.”
Chance conversations between Jim, his college roommate Carl Chambers, and his financial advisor lead to the perfect space in the rising Village of West Greenville—as well as a 22-year-old barista with a business plan. “I really wanted to focus on building the community and using local products,” says the genius behind the joe, co-owner Lindsey George. “We use local roasters, milk, syrups, tea, everything.” With years of experience operating a La Marzocco machine, George is the foam to the larger investors’ latte. She pairs flavors to create weekly specials, using beans Due South Roasters procures in Colombia, Ethiopia, Brazil, and beyond. With a smile, she reveals, “I was surprised at how many people order straight-up double-shot espresso, which tells me Greenville is serious about its coffee.”
The shop features local producers for its syrups, milk, and rotating pastries selection.
The aroma the steaming concoctions give off is as enticing as the Grind’s ambiance. It’s a unique blend: part vintage, part industrial, part Pinterest. Since opening in January, it’s exceeded the Bolts’ expectations. “We love The Village, the vibe,” says Jim. “It’s become a destination. It’s exciting to be a part of that.” Candace sees power in the diversity of the area. “We want to be part of positive change here. We both have adventurous spirits. If we fail, at least we had a great adventure. Life’s about taking risks, and if you’re not taking risks, you’re not living.”
Judging by the line at the counter, the risk is worth the reward.