About Us

Our Story

My first job was at a cafe, and not the kind you’re imagining. If someone ordered a cappucino, we pressed a button on a machine to mix hot water with french vanilla powder. Cafes have come a long way in 15 years. I enjoyed the job, meeting new people and serving them cups of deliciousness and other baked goods. I eventually came to bake at this cafe. It was here that I began to realize that coffee could bind people together.

I eventually worked for a Detroit-based retail coffee brand during and after college. My official title was “Executive Assistant” or “Marketing Director,” but it was more of an everything job- packaging and website design, brand development, strategy, financial planning, roaster work filling bags and prepping them to ship, stocking shelves… you get the point. Everything but roasting. It was a great experience, learning the ins and outs of operating a local brand.

We moved on from our downtown apartment and into Grosse Pointe home. Having been out of the coffee biz for a while, I developed an appreciation for specialty coffee and local roasters. IYKYK. There’s a real difference between big brand store coffee and local, fresh-roasted coffee. Big brands = profit margins. Small brand = quality coffee. Moving here we noticed there was a need for a local roasting company. Better yet, a roasting cafe! It was an idea we considered but didn’t have time to pursue.

Market conditions allowed us some time to pursue this venture. It began with experimenting on a cast iron and then a Whirly Pop on our back porch. Some of the roasts were pretty good! But it was a highly inconsistent roasting process- too many uncontrolled variables.

Brett bought a roaster and made it a thing. Choosing the name for our family business may have been the most difficult part! A name is permanent. We developed a long list, then short and eventually long again, before deciding that the first name we came up with was the only meaningful name to us.

Lily & Willy’s Coffee Co.

It’s our dream to grow this company, one step at a time and eventually have a local roasting cafe that all of our family, friends and neighbors can enjoy. We love and appreciate your support on this journey.