Michelle and Chris Gerard
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The Office Creates Totally Legit Cowork Space in a Coffeehouse

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Photos by <a href="http://www.michelleandchrisgerard.com/"> Michelle and Chris Gerard</a><br>
Photos by Michelle and Chris Gerard

Coworking spaces are a growing trend in the US and abroad, and metro Detroit is no exception. Corktown has PonyRide, created by Slow's founder Phil Cooley, and you'll find places like Bamboo and Grand Circus downtown. Many independent workers who want the feeling of going to a work opt for the local coffeehouse, but feel a little sheepish about it. Enter The Office Coffee Shop, metro Detroit's first hybrid coffeehouse/co-work space.

This newly opened Royal Oak business has a full coffee menu (lattes! Americanos! cappuccino!) and nice lunch-y things and baked goods, but also offers two offices you can rent by the hour, a conference room, and a larger space for big meetings that can be separated from the rest of the cafe.

The Office has the usual office stuff—printer and fax—but also has a 3D printer available for rent. Owners Mike and Brooke Keith, who met while students at Western Michigan, spent much of their own working lives getting stuff done in coffeehouses. They wanted to incorporate that experience with another dream—giving back to the community. Five percent of every The Office purchase goes to a small collection of charities and patrons have the privilege of selecting the charity they want The Office to give to. The charities include Forgotten Harvest, Water.org, Wigs for Kids and Team Joseph, a nonprofit whose mission is to cure Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

The Office provides locker space to members, and high speed Internet to all patrons—HIPPA compliant, secure WiFi, in fact. The Royal Oak space is also inviting, calm and quiet, and its large windows allow working patrons a pretty view of 4th and Lafayette. The coffee served at The Office comes from Kalamazoo's Water Street Coffee. Other vendors—New York Bagel, Holy Cannoli, and Just Delicious Scones—are also based in Michigan. The Office is open weekdays til from 7am-7pm, and Saturdays from 7am-3pm. That's the big drawback, if you can call it that. If you want to be a workaholic and keep at it til bedtime, eventually, you'll just have to go home.

·Why Coworking Spaces Are Here To Stay [Forbes]
·Bamboo [Bamboo Detroit]
·Grand Circus [Grand Circus Co]