Wake Up & Smell the Coffee
Writer & Photographer / Josh Brown
A Geist hotspot has some new faces and will have a new name.
Jeremy Balch recently took over ownership at Mama Bear’s in Geist. The Balch family is excited to bring a fresh reboot to the local coffeeshop.
“We are from the Greenfield area but are members here at Geist Community Church,” Balch says. “So, we are really familiar with the area and love the people here. We’ve always loved visiting Mama Bear’s, and I’m happy we were able to make it work.
It will be a full family affair for the Balch family, as customers will now often see Jeremy along with his wife Tristan, his daughter Anabelle and son, Josh, behind the counter running the day to day of the local shop. With the ownership change also comes a new name for the coffee shop, which is still in the works. Balch is leaning towards the Geist Coffee Co.
“We wanted a name that people really know it is about coffee,” Balch says. And that is what we want to do with Mama Bear’s. We want to change it from more of just a cafe to a true coffee craft house. We are working on our espresso, on the quality of coffee and really making sure the drinks are the best that you can get.”
For those worried about breakfast or lunch, don’t worry. The coffee shop will still be offering food choices at the location. Balch plans to go with a local baker where everything is made from scratch. Breakfast sandwiches will stay, but the lunch menu will be reevaluated.
Still, the word Balch used the most is “refresh.” He plans to take ideas from the community and close friends for suggestions to make the coffee shop a mainstay in the community.
As for the coffee itself, there may be some changes coming there as well. In the past, Mama Bear’s has used mainly Hubbard & Cravens coffee. Balch says the goal for his new venture is to one day be roasting its own beans in shop.
“Hubbard & Cravens is great, and I love the quality,” Balch says. “But we are probably going to scale down what we are doing with them. It is a huge variety, and people might not know what they are getting each day. We are probably going to get something a little more standard. Then we are going to evaluate our relationship with them and what they are doing. There are other great roasters too like Brickhouse on the south side of town and Noble Coffee is great too. Maybe three or four years down the road, we would love to be roasting our own beans right here in shop and also highlighting some of the other roasters right here in shop. We want to develop a local coffee scene here in Geist.”
As the shop continues its transformation, regulars to Mama Bear’s in the past can expect a refreshed energy level in the shop. Plans for the new sign are in the works to go up as soon as possible, but more than that, Balch wants the focus to be on customer satisfaction and quality.
“We are taking it one step at a time,” Balch says. “I’m giving our team one word a month to focus on, this month it is ‘clean.’ We are really cleaning the place and getting it looking nice. We want this to be a great place where people really feel comfortable being here and are excited to come here. Coffee can bring people together. You come and chat over a cup of coffee and just relax. We want it to be that kind of place for people here.”
Balch is still working on the shop’s new website, but you can follow (for now) Mama Bear’s Facebook page as they transition. Balch and his team are still monitoring the Facebook page for any activity or messages. And, of course, the shop will still be located at 10110 Brooks School Rd.
Watch our full video interview with Jeremy here.