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Walnut & Park

April 23, 2017

  • 322 W. Walnut Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 903-0578
  • Website
  • Menu

Getting up every morning to get L to school has afforded me the opportunity to stop in at more of the cafe’s around town for breakfast.  I don’t drink coffee.  I actually prefer to have a Pepsi as soon as I get up, so I really have very little reason to stop in to a cafe unless I’m looking for a quick bite to eat.

A little over a month ago, J told me about a new cafe opening up in the Vine Neighborhood.  This cafe is a little different though.  There’s a good cause behind it and something pretty unique in Kalamazoo.

Walnut & Park built from the ground up at the corner of….well…Walnut and Park Streets.  There used to be an office building on this corner, but the new owners, the Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement Program, or KPEP, ripped it down to make use of the land for a coffee shop just to the south of downtown.

The local news did a good job of covering the story behind Walnut & Park (Mlive, WWMT, WOOD, Fox 17).  The idea is that ex-offenders in the KPEP Culinary Arts program will be the employees of this small shop and work towards a new career in the food industry.  The cafe is run by two former employees of Water Street Coffee joint and, coincidentally. they serve Water Street Coffee.

The coffee joint is actually a pretty large restaurant with a large patio on the Walnut side of the building.  There’s a nice big parking lot next to the building with spots reserved for customers of Walnut and Park.

The inside of the building is all shiny and new.  There’s a small order counter with some pastry’s underneath it and a small cooler next to that for juice and milk.  The rest of the space is filled with  dark wood tables and chairs, 

counters with pub style chairs and USB outlets to charge devices,

and even a sitting area with leather chairs and copies of the Wall Street Journal.

The cafe doesn’t have a huge food menu.  They have a couple basic staples then there are a specials every day.  I was a little hungry on the morning I stopped in so I ordered two of the Ham & Egg Sandwich. Each were $3.50 so it set me back a little over $7.

I took a seat at one of the tables.  I had B with me, so I decided not to stay and eat.  It took about five minutes for my food to be wrapped up and handed to me in a paper bag.

I unwrapped the first one I grabbed out right away.  It was fresh out of the oven and very hot.  I had to give it a few minutes to cool down.  The sandwich was wrapped in foil then wrapped in the outside paper wrapping.

The sandwich was a pretty standard breakfast sandwich with a whole grain English muffin, a fried egg and cheese.  What made this one different was the use of Canadian bacon instead of regular bacon.  The bacon was grilled so the edges were were nice and crispy, but the center of it was still soft and salty.

Walnut & Park is a great concept and one that is well put together.  KPEP really went out and did this thing right.  It’s a nice little neighborhood coffee shop with a great environment to sit and sip on coffee while reading your morning paper.  It’s also a great program to support.  If you’re going to stop for coffee anyway, why not help some people get back on their feet and turn their life around?

Walnut & Park Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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