Trading Grounds signature drinks (from left to right) caramel macchiato, golden ticket, and lavender, raspberry and lemonade tea, Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at Trading Grounds Coffee in Marion, Iowa. (Jeff Stiles/The Gazette)
Owner Sean Keating speaks to the OJ on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at Trading Grounds Coffee in Marion, Iowa. (Jeff Stiles/The Gazette)
Barista Ashlyn Chamberlain prepares an espresso shot on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at Trading Grounds Coffee in Marion, Iowa. (Jeff Stiles/The Gazette)
Marion – For new coffee shop owner Sean Keating, the love for coffee began with the genesis of cappuccinos at the gas station.
“I remember Saturday mornings going to QuikTrip on the way to family events. Being able to push a button and customize this stuff the way I like it was just something to look forward to,” said Keating, owner of the newly opened Trading Grounds Coffee in Marion. to him, and it was part of the ritual.”
With his first business, which opened on April 25, he aimed to recreate a space where rituals like this could flourish—mothers bonding with some free time in the summer, kids coming to celebrate an achievement, high school students getting a smoothie after school.
For Keating, coffee is more than just a cup of flavored caffeine.
what or what: coffee trade
where: 917 Barrington BKWY, Suite B, Marion
hours: Summer hours are 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; Saturday from 7 am to 8 pm; 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
details: Coffee, tea, cookie dough and baked goods are available within the trading grounds or on the premises by car.
“These are the things that are interesting to see,” he said. “Just being able to do it for people… It’s something I thought I could do that could resonate with people.”
After earning an elementary education degree and 10 years working in various positions at Hills Bank, Keating returned to his roots – running a small business like the one he grew up with – with a new venture that fuses education and his passion for people.
Keating, 34, has eight years of experience from former Coffeesmiths in Cedar Rapids, honing his coffee skills to match his passion. With Trading Grounds, he revived some influences from the Coffeesmiths.
One highlight that you won’t find in other cafes in the corridor, for example, is a cup of ready-made, refrigerated chocolate chip dough.
With her new local coffee shop, Keating wants to give people a local perspective on affordable coffee without sacrificing conveniences like driving by car. Inside the store are aesthetics that he hopes will enhance a slower environment in an accelerating world.
If customers notice something about their regular drink or want to try something different, Trading Grounds wants to know.
“I want clients to have conversations,” Keating said. “I want to make sure you’re doing things in an environment… where people don’t feel rushed.”
With RunWell Coffee, a product of the Iowa Running Company of NewBo, and roasted by Thinkwell in Waverly, Trading Grounds treats coffee as an art similar to wine. Rather than looking at light, medium, or dark roasts, the café looks at flavors and textures based on the region and roast temperature.
“It elevates the thought process for coffee — it’s like thinking about wine,” Keating said. “People who really enjoy this art…know that there are nuances.”
In addition to the standard coffee and espresso selections, customers can order some unique signature drinks – some with eyebrow-raising flavor profiles.
The founder, an innovation from the owner, combines white mocha, raspberry and mint. The Golden Ticket, a more popular option, combines white mocha, caramel, and tofunut.
In some coffee shops, pressure variations with the espresso filling can cause the taste of drinks to vary throughout the day. At Trading Grounds, Keating referred to the automatic tamping of the ground into an espresso machine. This ensures that the flavor is consistent, no matter what flavor profile you’re sampling.
Instead of syrup flavors, the cafe opts for a powder approach, which allows the drinks to be mixed more homogeneously. This means that the first few sips will not be too bitter, and the last few sips will not be too sweet with the syrup that has sunk to the bottom of the glass.
In addition to coffee, the shop offers a wide range of teas, including refreshing and not too sweet options like this summer’s iced raspberry lavender.
If you’re in the mood for a little more pastry, a fair selection of cake flavors are baked in-house daily, along with cinnamon twists on certain days. The cookies at Trading Grounds have a more moist texture, similar to cookies.
In Barrington Parkway, the newly built site may seem far from the main commercial areas of Marion. But strategically, it was chosen in the midst of many schools and in an underserved area that is rapidly developing with the YMCA and the upcoming UnityPoint Clinic in Tower Terrace.
Comments: (319) 398-8340; email@example.com
Barista Ashlyn Chamberlain attends an order for a client on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at Trading Grounds Coffee in Marion, Iowa. (Jeff Stiles/The Gazette)
A selection of fresh pastries is on display on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at Trading Grounds Coffee in Marion, Iowa. (Jeff Stiles/The Gazette)
The afternoon sun illuminates the interior of Trading Grounds Coffee on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at Trading Grounds Coffee in Marion, Iowa. (Jeff Stiles/The Gazette)
An assortment of teas is available at Trading Grounds Coffee on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at Trading Grounds Coffee in Marion, Iowa. (Jeff Stiles/The Gazette)