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CASE STUDY

Crown Brew

November 29, 2022

In 2016, owners Jared Gravatt and Josh Benetone opened Crown Brew's first location in Carterville, Ill. with a goal to create a gathering spot with premium coffees, craft beverages, live music, local art, and community outreach for friends and family to grow together.
FEATURED STATS
Employees
12
pounds of coffee brewed per week
100
drinks served in 2021
50,000
LOCATION
Marion, IL

The origins of Crown Brew Coffee Co. came through Jared and Josh’s international travels supporting non-profit projects focused on the prevention of human trafficking, education, agriculture, creative arts, and medical outreach. Through this work, they had the opportunity to see how coffee brings communities together across the world. "Building a community takes priority over building business and we always try to be intentional in our hospitality, service, and in how we use our space. Without that conviction, we are just another place to grab a coffee." said Jared. Ultimately Jared and Josh wanted to bring that coffee culture to the Southern Illinois region by opening one of the first “craft coffee" shops in our region, and at the time, one of the only manual brew coffee companies in the nation.

"No matter what country or continent we worked in, we realized there was a common thread of coffee woven through the fabric of the community. Around the world, coffee has become a pillar of community and we felt our region was ready for that," Josh said.

"Building a community takes priority over building business and we always try to be intentional in our hospitality, service, and in how we use our space. Without that conviction, we are just another place to grab a coffee."
Jared Gravatt

In October 2020, Crown Brew Coffee Co. opened a new location – a 120-year-old building in downtown Marion that Jared and Josh redesigned and rehabilitated largely by themselves. The rehab focused on preserving historical components of the building while modernizing its design. The result is a beautifully restored building for which Josh and Jared were awarded with a 2022 Landmarks Illinois Award for Rehabilitation.

“As designers and artists, we relished the opportunity to take something that had been neglected or forgotten and make it beautiful and beloved. This building project and its completion represents a fulfillment of our goals and dreams since we started our business. It has been a tremendous blessing to us and our community” Josh added.

Through crafting business partnerships, supporting local artists and musicians, and creating an impressive social media presence and brand, they were able to hit the ground running and now serve more than 1,000 customers weekly in Marion. As the Crown Brew building’s rehabilitation was funded partly through Tax Increment Financing (TIF) from the City of Marion, its success demonstrates the power of strong collaboration between businesses and local governments.

Crown Brew has been featured multiple times in Midwest Living’s “Best of the Midwest” which celebrates the Midwest region's top spots in food, travel, lifestyle and wellness. They were also named as one of the “Top 10 Most Instagrammable Places” in the state by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times for two years in a row.

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