Coffee Shop Coworking is a series that highlights cafes and coffee shops in and around the Des Moines metro perfect for entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives, and remote workers to get things done. Each installment will highlight what a particular location is best for, what you can expect from its work environment, and what sets it apart from other local alternatives.
Grounds for Celebration – Windsor Heights
When it comes to remote working, sometimes it’s important to step outside your normal routine and go in search of a different environment. In Des Moines, that can mean crossing neighborhood boundaries or taking a new interstate exit to visit a different suburban coffee shop.
While the west side neighborhood of Windsor Heights is notorious for its speed traps and home to Senator Chuck Grassley’s favorite Dairy Queen, it’s also a wonderful place to get things done. Nestled between restaurants and residential spaces, the neighborhood branch of the local chain Grounds for Celebration offers a welcoming atmosphere and a great setup to ensure productivity.
Depending on the time of day you visit, the atmosphere at Grounds for Celebration can vary greatly. Some mornings are quiet and more solitary, with a slow trickle of customers picking up coffee to do. Others are packed with groups of families and friends chatting animatedly at almost every available table. But regardless of the time of week you visit, the coffee shop always feels homey and inviting.
Soft overhead lighting spotlights individual tables and seating areas while simplistic wooden and wrought iron furniture adds to the cozy feel of the coffee shop. From its decor to the books by Iowa authors for sale to the locally made granola brand they serve, everything about Grounds for Celebration feels focused on the community it represents. The neighborhood love isn’t one-sided either—the coffee shop also boasts countless Cityview Magazine awards for “Best Coffee” and even one for “Best Lunch Spot.”
Grounds for Celebration roasts their own beans and offers a variety of different coffee options. If java isn’t your jam, the cafe also offers a collection of teas and smoothies to sip while you work. Along with a variety of baked goods and easy grab-and-go breakfast items like fruit and instant oatmeal, Grounds for Celebration also serves a changing lunch menu of sandwiches, salads, pastas, and quiches. If you visit Monday through Saturday between 10:30 AM and 2:00 PM, the cafe offers its full menu and waitress table service. Outside of those hours, you can still enjoy chicken salad or the rotating quiche selection as well as any of the pre-made snacks.
The Work Environment
When it’s time to get down to business, Grounds for Celebration offers an appreciated variety. With both indoor and outdoor seating options, there are plenty of tables—both big and small—to spread out what workday essentials. The coffee shop also boasts free WiFi and plentiful power outlets so you won’t have to worry about switching seats halfway through your visit to recharge.
Depending on when you visit, it might be a good idea to plan ahead by tossing headphones in your work bag. While the coffee shop’s traffic tends to ebb and flow with the time of day and day of the week, the small space and occasionally be a little bit echoey. Also, depending on the barista on duty and what type of work you’re trying to get done, the coffee shop’s swinging instrumental melodies may be a bit distracting.
Best Place To: Feel Like You’re Part of the Neighborhood
With three locations around the Des Moines metro—Windsor Heights, Beaverdale, and West Des Moines—Grounds for Celebration provides the perfect backdrop for productivity no matter where you’re headed. But above all else, the local chain makes its visitors feel instantly at home. Especially for someone working remotely and looking for a little more connection to their city, this intimate environment can be a welcome change to some of the area’s bigger, busier options.
On any given day, you’re likely to see couples enjoying a coffee break on their morning walk with their pup (bonus points: Grounds for Celebration provides a dog water dish on its front patio) or a family enjoying breakfast at one of the cafe’s bigger tables while their little ones sprawl on the floor nearby with a coloring book. From the patio, you’re likely to hear a whisper of music from the City Sounds piano (painted by local artist Christine Hilbert) currently installed on the corner of 66th Street and University Avenue.
It’s not difficult to quickly become a regular at Grounds for Celebrations—its staff is friendly, attentive, and quick to remember how you prefer your caffeinated pick-me-up. Plus, depending on where your home base is, the coffee shop’s three locations can be an easy walks or bike ride for many suburban workers.Regardless of the type of project you’re working on, Grounds for Celebration provides a solid work environment with a little more heart and community than you might find elsewhere.
Combined with the shops’ homey feel and fast Internet connection, the coffee shop is an easy coffee shop coworking pick on days when you might need a little extra boost. Still not getting enough of a community connection? Head downtown to Gravitate to connect with other remote workers and local entrepreneurs to feel an even stronger sense of community.
- Latte: $3.21 (12 oz)
- Black Coffee: $1.74 (12 oz)
- Coffee Quality: 3 / 5
- Work atmosphere: 4 / 5
- Meeting: 3.5 / 5
Get to Work
6601 University Avenue, #104
Windsor Heights, IA 50324
Monday – Friday: 6:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Saturday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
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