Events & Blog


Wednesday, March 27th, 2013  |  Events, News, Stories, Ypsilanti  | 

Sweetwaters Ypsilanti is Now Open!

Our fourth Sweetwaters location has finally opened and the Ypsilanti community has been more than welcoming! Across from EMU’s campus, right near the water tower, this Sweetwaters has a more industrial and edgy feel to it. We’ve been getting a lot of great feedback as well. Have you been to the new location? What is your favorite part about the new design?

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011  |  Downtown, Events, Stories  | 

The man behind the fairy doors revealed!


Jonathan B. Wright is a true Ann Arborite. Wright is probably best known for being a fairyologist and his study of the urban-fairy fairy doors. Before that (and still), Jonathan has worked as an illustrator and designer of products for children.

Jonathan received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan. He went on to design window displays at Middle Earth in Ann Arbor. Wright worked for 11 years at Colorbök designing and illustrating products and eventually started a new company, Giddy Up, where he continued that career.

Whenever he can, he will sketch to record ideas and events. Wright claims to have a poor memory, and the working part is a visual memory.

Jonathan says, “I do not consider myself an ‘Artist’. I tend to label myself an “illustrator”. More broadly I am a “maker”. Considering my surname, that seems appropriate. A Wheelwright makes wheels, a cartwright makes carts, a shipwright builds ships, a playwright creates plays…and so on. Originally Wright was more specific to woodwork. I make stuff.”


Jonathan B. Wright’s works will be on display during the month of May.  Don’t miss his wonderfully detailed and often witty drawings.

Date: May 2 – May 31, 2011.
Place: Sweetwaters Downtown (123 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor)

Jonathan’s post cards, greeting cards, and posters are also available for purchase at Sweetwaters Downtown.

For more information on Jonathan:

Thursday, March 10th, 2011  |  Delicious, News, Stories  | 

A great find for “grown-ups”…


While attending Chicago’s CoffeeFest we tasted so many coffees.  The stand out by far was Burundi.  So much so, that although we had originally scheduled a different coffee to be featured in March and April, I immediately emailed all the stores to put a halt to the original plan and order Burundi instead!

When Wei tasted the Burundi his immediate reaction was, “Wow, this coffee has no bitterness. It’s velvety and refreshing with a very clean finish.”  We had to bring this ultra-smooth coffee to our Sweetwaters customers to brighten the dreary, gray days of March.

One of my favorite first comments from a downtown customer:  “I love the Burundi.  As a student, any old coffee would do.  But now, I’m more selective.  I only want to drink really good coffee and this one is it – I can taste the difference and it makes me feel good.”  – Andrea, a longtime downtown customer.

Come in and have a taste. It’s what “grown-up” coffee should be.


Wednesday, June 16th, 2010  |  Stories  | 

Sweetwaters Around the World!


We often wear our Sweetwaters t-shirts and hats when we travel.  Many times people will stop us saying, “Hey, we’ve been to Ann Arbor and we know Sweetwaters!” We’ve also seen others wearing Sweetwaters gear in places outside of Ann Arbor.  So we thought it would be fun to post your photos and stories of you wearing your SW t-shirt, hat, drinking from a SW mug, or enjoying our coffee/tea in some exotic place.

We’ll post all entries right here on our blog so you can show the world how well Sweetwaters travels!  Prizes of coffee, tea, or Sweetwaters gear for the picture taken furthest from Ann Arbor and for the funniest picture/story combo.

Email your pictures and stories to or post them on our Facebook Page.

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010  |  News, Plymouth Green Crossings, Stories  | 

Sweetwaters Plymouth Green’s Barista, Taylor, Gets Rewarded!

taylorAnn Arbor’s Pioneer High School and The Michigan Department of Education presented this certificate to Sweewaters for sharing professional experience with Taylor, one of our youngest and brightest baristas! Taylor is enrolled in Pioneer’s Occupational Education Program and we are proud to say that she has received straight A’s in the program.

At Sweetwaters we appreciate the importance of career and technical education and are proud to support and mentor our local students.

Monday, May 3rd, 2010  |  Stories  | 

Ginger Fizz Fanatic?

Did you meet your wife Liz over a glass of Ginger Fizz? Or did Ginger Fizz give you the brain power to ace a rough quiz? If you’ve got a great Ginger Fizz story (true or imaginary) head over to our facebook page and leave a comment. Our 10 favorite stories will get a free Ginger Fizz shirt and a Fizz on us!


Monday, March 29th, 2010  |  Plymouth Green Crossings, Stories  | 

Barista Bio – Gettin’ Classy with Aaron from Sweetwaters Plymouth Green

018_16A 1. What is your favorite drink at Sweetwaters?

House Coffee…Black

2. What is your favorite Sweetwaters guilty pleasure?

Almond Croissants

3. Tell us about funny story related to Sweetwaters?

I was opening one day last Fall and the fire alarm was set off by another business in the complex. We didn’t know how to shut it off, neither did the building managers, or the security company….or the builders…or the fire department!

4. Who is your favorite Sweetwaters customer?

Ron and Dan, They both know my name.

5. Who is your favorite cartoon character? and why?

Gaston, because I think he’s hysterical.

6. Create a Sweetwaters drink or treat for your cartoon character, what would it be?

I like to think he drinks a black eye. Midnight Blend with 2 extra shots.

7. What do you do outside of  Sweetwaters?

I’m finishing my masters in double bass performance, grade music theory papers, work on stage lighting, rehair instrument bows, play bass with Dearborn Symphony.

8. What is your perfect playlist?

1)Mahler – Symphony No.2

2) Livin’ on a Prayer

3) Journey

4) Ace of Bass

5) Shostakovich Symphony No.5

6) Avenue Q

7) Anything Victor Wooren

8)Dvosak Symphony No. 9

9) Disney Anthologies

10) Big band era music

Monday, March 22nd, 2010  |  News, Stories  | 

Whats the Best Thing About Being A Part of Sweetwaters? published a great executive profile on one of Sweetwaters’ founders, Lisa Bee. Read about what makes Sweetwaters fun and what’s the best part of being in the coffee biz.

Executive Profile: Lisa Bee, co-owner, Sweetwaters Cafe

People— they’re the best part of the job and the most challenging part of the job for Lisa Bee, co-owner of SweetwatersLisa Bee

Café in downtown Ann Arbor.

“I get to meet so many different people,” Bee said. “Not just the customers, but also the staff.” Bee said that  former Sweetwaters employees move away after college, but often come back to let her and her husband, Wei, know how they area doing.

Bee said that while customers are loyal and have made many useful suggestions, they’re also the first to let her know when they don’t like something or want something to be changed, from adding new beverage selections to repairs or remodeling work on the shop.

“I’m really thankful for those people, though,” Bee said. “Our customers set a very high bar for us. They make us who we are.”
full entry »

Thursday, March 4th, 2010  |  Plymouth Green Crossings, Stories  | 

Barista Bio – Ehhhh, What’s Up Barb?

In honor of Barb’s birthday we’d like you to meet one of Sweetwaters’ happiest north side baristas! Happy Birthday Barb!

DSCN2479_s 1. What is your favorite drink at Sweetwaters?

Drink? Anything with that sweet rich liquid gold espresso we call Abianno!

2. What is your favorite Sweetwaters guilty pleasure?

Snickerdoodle cookie – especially dunked into any drink made with Abianno espresso! Also enjoying our customers and staff immensely.

3. Tell us about funny story related to Sweetwaters?

Story? Too many to tell! Other than the framed parchment paper masterpiece, I also have a little problem of getting words mixed up, I started calling the TL’s (Team Leaders) “BLT’s”…obviously hungry and needed a snickerdoodle!!

4. Who is your favorite Sweetwaters customer?

Simply cannot say just one, they all are special in my eyes, truly..but if I have to, there’s Matt, Jim, Ted, Sharon, Mack, Ron, Don, Diane and Gary, Emery….

5. Who is your favorite cartoon character? And why?

Bugs Bunny – none other! Suave, sophisticated…and so wonderfully sarcastic!

6. What Sweetwaters drink or treat would you create and serve to your cartoon character?

A double shot of Abianno espresso with a side of carrot cake – easy!

7. What do you do outside of Sweetwaters?

Garden, write long letters, play with my kitten, Ms. Minnivar Q. Pickl….and repaint my house all sorts of bright and funky colors suitable for a mid-life crisis but not for re-sale!

8. What is your perfect playlist?

Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Dean Martin, a smattering of Opera-and throw in some Tower of Power and AWB to make me young again! Does anyone other than me remember how to do the “Bump”??

Friday, June 19th, 2009  |  Stories  | 


cinnamon_group cinnamonrolls

Gary and Diane, two wonderfully devoted morning regulars, describe how their piece of “artwork” came about:

“Sweetwaters downtown had an art show called “Variations on a Square.” It was this show that inspired us to produce a piece of art from something we see every morning at the cafe, the wax paper liner from the morning cinnamon rolls delivery. We wanted to play a joke on Barb, a Sweetwaters’ morning manager, who prides herself as quite an art critic.

So, Diane and I took one of the cinnamon roll parchment paper liners, mounted it, placed a title card (just like all the other pieces of artwork) with this caption:

full entry »