Joel Pritchett

Downtown Rockford coffee house under new ownership

December 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY In early 2010 Joel and Melanie Pritchett and their three children, Daniel, Jordyn, and Taylor, were leading comfortable lives in Seattle, Washington. However, in April of that year, their lives were about to change. Melanie, who goes by Mel, found her management job with Verizon, in the Pacific Northwest, being eliminated because of a buy out by Frontier Communications. Verizon offered Mel the opportunity to transfer either to Wisconsin, Ohio, or Michigan. Not wanting to give up her 12-year management career, she and husband Joel decided that, of the three choices, Michigan was the place to be. Joel was a Minnesotan born and raised, loved mid-west winters, football, and NASCAR and Michigan had all of that and more – in spades. The plot thickened. In order to uproot their family and relocate to the Midwest, Joel had to resign from his 20-year management position with aviation giant – Boeing Company. For Joel it was a somewhat easy decision. He had become steadily disillusioned with the ever-escalating and never-ending corporate demands placed upon him and co-workers as a result of the worst decade-long economic decline since the Great Depression. In April of 2010, the Pritchett’s found themselves enroute to the “Mitten State”. They found a home in Grant and Mel resumed her career with Verizon in Muskegon. Joel found a job with a Michigan company and all was well, or so it seemed. A short year and a half later, the final axe was about to fall when Mel learned her position with Verizon was being eliminated by another round of corporate downsizing. “We had ‘had it’ with the corporate world,” said the Pritchett’s. Joel pulled the plug on his new job and buoyed somewhat by Mel’s sizeable severance package the couple decided to pursue a dream of small business entrepreneurship. They began, in earnest, to seek a location in Newaygo County to build a brick and mortar coffee house complete with a drive-up window. The coffee house decision was not a whim. Joel was raised in a successful family of restaurateurs’. For her part, Mel was a trained barista having learned the craft in a second job part-time position with Silver Cup Coffee in Seattle. So it came to pass, in […]