Both, in word and deed, David Merrit and his brother, Jon have understood that their purpose in life is to serve, to love, and to be there for people; which is why they have dedicated the last three and a half years of their lives to provide their communities with amazing coffee, delicious baked goods, and (before the pandemic) a relaxing place to gather. The Narrow Way Cafe & Shop was originally established out of a repurposed bookstore inside the Straight Gate International Church as a well-intentioned project intended to meet the needs of their congregation, both physically and spiritually, with a hot cup of coffee before and after Sunday service. Although David and Jon have always carried Detroit’s entrepreneurial spirit, they never imagined it coming to life and succeeding in the coffee industry.
After a sweeping success and overwhelming support from the community, David and Jon decided to move into a brick and mortar outside the church into a full-time operation next to Kuzzo’s building. With their relocation, they seek to help resurrect Livernois street, where they are now located and provide a neighborly atmosphere for folks in the region to continue to strengthen the community.
During the pandemic, the coffee shop has received support from people in the community who made a conscious effort to support Black-owned businesses. The neighborhood lacked a coffee shop before The Narrow Way Cafe & Shop, so folks were sympathetic to the cause of keeping the business afloat. The Merrit family truly felt fortunate to feel the love of the community and continue to move forward.
David is currently in the process of reaching out to several grocery chains for the possibility of shipping The Narrow Way Cafe & Shop’s coffee out to different retail outlets. As well, the coffee shop is presently engaged in the development of a coffee scrub among other exciting upcoming projects.