Local Business Spotlight: A look at Fargo’s small businesses and the people behind them.
Featuring: Young Blood Coffee Co. & Tim Griffin
By: Dane Johnson, Folkways Editorial Board
Tim Griffin, owner of Young Blood Coffee Co., believes that you owe it to your customer to apprentice under a master of your craft before launching into business yourself.
After more than a decade of working in the specialty coffee industry, for the likes of Stumptown and Four Barrel, Griffin has arguably subjected himself to learning from the best baristas and roasters in the country.
“Go through the hard work, and put yourself under the training that is the best that you can find,” Tim advised.
Tim and his wife Elisha were drawn back to Fargo to provide a coffee experience that was yet to be found in the bustling Downtown community, which led to opening Young Blood for business in September 2016.
“It’s fun to be able to showcase something that nobody’s done before. We felt like we had something unique to offer that hasn’t been played out,” Tim said.
This may lead you to wonder what sets Young Blood apart from other cafes in town.
“We’re doing a coffee that’s a little more on the brighter-sweetness-acidity side,” Tim explained.
This brighter coffee comes from Four Barrel, a roaster located in San Francisco, who Tim and Elisha both worked for, and whose staff Tim considers not only as business partners, but family.
Their relationship is further enhanced by Tim’s high regard of Four Barrel’s sourcing process, noting that they are able to find the best coffees in the world because of the relationships they’ve developed with farmers in coffee-growing regions.
As a result, Tim and Elisha are able to serve customers some of the world’s finest coffees, with brew methods most complementary toward the beans, right in Downtown Fargo.
Since opening the shop, Tim has been surprised at how receptive customers have been to Young Blood’s West Coast-style roast. He had anticipated it being somewhat of a tough sell and requiring some customer education. To date, however, there has only been one person who didn’t find what they were looking for, Tim shared. He credits the flourishing artisan beer scene in Fargo as having prepared people’s palates for flavors that stray from normal expectations.
Young Blood has set up shop in a space that had been vacant for two years, adjacent Wasabi and Drunken Noodle. They designed the cafe with a clean, white, modern aesthetic that contrasts with a graffiti-painted doorway shared between their space and the restaurants next door.
“Sometimes people are eating sushi here,” Tim added.
He appreciates the cross-traffic that the neighboring businesses bring and said that anyone who enjoys the vibe in his shop is welcome.
As for the other coffee shops in town: Tim said that he’s sensed nothing but genuine excitement and support for what he and Elisha are doing, adding that you can never have enough people employing their craft in an authentic and artisanal way.
“Rising tide raises all boats,” he shared.
Additionally, Tim believes that setting a high bar for excellence encourages everyone to strive to do their best in whatever business or work they do.
If you’d like to experience coffee showcased and served with commitment and craft, visit Tim and Elisha at Young Blood Coffee Co. at 623 NP Avenue N, Fargo, ND.