When Joshua Agardy and his wife Rachael opened their business in downtown Mount Pleasant, Michigan in Sept. 2014 they wanted to contribute something to downtown that wasn’t already there- a coffee shop.
“Growing up in Mount Pleasant there was not a single coffee shop in the downtown area,” said Agardy. “I figured a good way to start my experience in business was to open a coffee shop where there was a need for one.”
“I learned everything as I’ve gone throughout the process,” said Agardy. “I didn’t know how to do anything more than make a cup of coffee before I opened.
Inspired by opening the business, Agardy is pursuing a finance degree at Central Michigan University (CMU) and is taking one course each semester. His wife is a full-time geology professor at CMU and the couple has four children all under the age of 10.
In addition to school, Agardy invests 60 to 80 hours each week into PCC and owns and maintains rental properties in town.
“Any time that I’m sitting here looking out the door waiting for customers to come in is time I can be forwarding my momentum toward my degree, so it’s not wasted time,” said Agardy.
Linda Weiss is a familiar face at Pleasant City Coffee and visits the shop nearly every day.
“The coffee is the best in central Michigan, the atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable, and the customer service is superior,” said Weiss. “I’m glad to be supporting a local small business in our downtown, and thus helping support our city’s economy.”
Through the month of February, the coffee shop partnered with Isabella County Restoration House (ICRH) a rotational homeless shelter located in Mount Pleasant. For each bag of coffee sold at Pleasant City, $1 will go to ICRH.
PCC frequently hosts live musical performances from local artists and pop-up boutiques. For business hours and a list of upcoming events, visit their Facebook.
This post is the culmination of a picture package project for my JRN 320 class. The project needed photos, a layout, and a short story. This project was difficult for me in the way that I needed to think of a story that I could do that was close to home (due to car issues) and was still worth telling. I wanted to capture the relaxed nature of the coffee shop and how Josh does time management yet still balances all his responsibilities of operating the coffee shop, taking classes, and being a father of four.
Lighting for this assignment was really important and I knew I needed to capture the light and open feel of the coffee shop. Additionally, my dominant image is a portrait photo which needed to be well lit but I also wanted to show a bit more of behind the counter and a bit of the coffee shop so I just used put the speedlites I had brought aside and used the existing lights overhead which cast a nice backlight and left the window light to light the front. That was the largest challenge because I wanted a strong portrait to set a tone for the story but I was hesitant to bring in my own lighting because I didn’t want to disrupt the customers in the shop and I wanted the image to be strong yet natural. Luckily I didn’t need the additional light!