The Sparrows Coffee Tea and Newsstand is a specialty coffee shop in Grand Rapids, MI. Since 2007, Sparrows has been dedicated to serving coffee with hard work, kindness, and inclusivity. Sparrows offers thoroughly crafted coffee, an extensive selection of teas, and a warm and inviting space for community to gather. We believe coffee is an experience that is best shared with friends in a comfortable environment.
Lori Slager Wenzel
Lori Slager-Wenzel is a mom of three, marathon runner, Bill Murray fan girl, as well as owner and founder of The Sparrows.
She started The Sparrows in 2007 with the dream of creating a community space that was inclusive, community-focused, and welcoming. Since opening The Sparrows nine years ago, the relationships between employees and the public are evidence of that dream manifested.
Lori isn’t afraid of hard work or of getting her hands dirty. She juggles her growing family, the demands of owning a small business, being on the board of the Wealthy Street Business Association, and her unending quest to find the best Manhattan in Grand Rapids, like it’s nothing. She inspires every member of the Sparrows family with her unfading drive.
A recent Grand Rapids transplant, Julia Lancer has 15 years of coffee industry experience, and is a drummer in a band based out of her hometown, Santa Rosa, CA.
Julia has more tattoos than your average 4 year old can count. She has the uncanny ability to pick apart any meal at a restaurant and tell you exactly what spices were used in its preparation. Her aptitude to taste and talk about intricacies of flavor uniquely positions her to direct our growing coffee program.
Julia joined our team in 2016 as our General Manager and Director of Coffee. You can catch her sniffing coffee grounds with intense contemplation and scrutiny, while most likely listening to Nirvana.
Molly is a writer, dog lover, and frequent visitor to Lake Michigan beaches.
Molly's house is beginning to resemble a jungle because of her inability to stop herself from buying plants, and you can find evidence of this in Sparrows. She is a published poet who never leaves home without a notebook where she scribbles down everything from slant rhymes to clever hashtags for Sparrows' instagram. Molly can be found walking her dog while probably wearing at least one piece of denim clothing.
Molly joined The Sparrows team in 2013 as a barista and is currently Operations Manager. You can find her around the shop trimming plants, taking inventory, and generally making sure the trains run on time.