Over Thanksgiving break I visited a coffee shop in my hometown, Bronxville NY, called Slave to the Grind. Slave to the Grind is a traditional coffee shop with a welcoming environment where customers can sit down and drink their coffee or simply sit there and do work. Slave to the Grind plays an interesting role in the town because it has to compete with Starbucks. When I spoke to customers at Slave to the Grind, they explained that they are too loyal to “Slaves” to even consider going to Starbucks. After living in the town for many years, I know that Slave to the Grind has a very loyal customer base from the people who live in the village and Starbucks pulls customers who are new to the town or simply stop by. Slave to the Grind is on the main street of stores called Pondfield Road and Starbucks is on a side road called Park Place. The customers at Slave to the Grind tend to be Bronxville High School students or Sarah Lawrence College students. Sarah Lawrence is located half a mile away and students love the atmosphere of the café. Slave to the Grind is also located next to a very popular restaurant in the town, which help it draw in a new crowd. To the right is an Asian Bistro called Haiku, which is almost always crowded.
Throughout the years Bronxville has seen gentrification, a term discussed in Global Cities, Local Streets, but Slave to the Grind has fought this by keeping their prices low. I believe this helps it keep a strong customer base. Slave to the Grind has been in Bronxville for twelve years and is seen as an old shop, but there is a balance between commercial stores and new shops in the town as well. Slave to the Grind is very important to the town because as the town has experienced gentrification, to the dismay of some residents, people support this café not only because they love the coffee, but also to preserve the local street and businesses.
Jack Harris ’16