Northwest Grind coffee shop opens with busy first month


After opening on June 8, Yelm’s Northwest Grind coffee shop has had quite a busy summer. 

The new coffee stand, 9241 Burnett Road Southeast, features a variety of drinks, including its Bubbleology brand. 

Owner Crystal Bundy said, for the first few weeks after opening, from 25 to 30 cars waited in line at any given point.

“Oh my gosh, the community has shown up in force,” she said. “It’s been wonderful and overwhelming. We knew we were going to be popular, but we didn’t know it was going to be this big of a hit. We had seven or eight people working in there trying to get through the cars and orders while still providing a strong product.”

Bundy said, despite how busy the shop was for the first several weeks, staff still took the time to talk to customers and put the effort into providing a quality drink.

This is the third Northwest Grind location, with others in Olympia and Rochester. Yelm’s Northwest Grind location is special because of its Bubbleology brand.

Based in London, Bubbleology is a bubble tea brand that creates tea-based beverages with freshly cooked tapioca or popping boba. Patrons have many flavors from which to choose, including fruit-based boba drinks, milk tea options and more. Bundy said she’s friends with the owner of Bubbleology, who has over 50 locations.

Yelm is one of six Bubbleology locations in the United States. The others are in Tampa, Florida; Leesburg, Virginia; Clinton Township, Michigan; Dearborn, Michigan’ and New Brunswick, New Jersey.

“Bubbleology is a bubble tea, boba tea line, and it’s all handcrafted,” Bundy said. “We have super cute and interesting specials, and other combinations that nobody else in the area has.” 

July’s monthly special at Yelm’s Northwest Grind is called the Carnival Ride. The special is a 32-ounce blended cotton candy milkshake. The lid on the Carnival Ride is rolled in sprinkles and topped with a mini-cupcake and a sweet tart candy rope. To receive updates on each month’s special, follow the Northwest Grind pages on Facebook or Instagram.

Other menu items include the usual espresso drinks, blended drinks, Italian soda and smoothies made with fresh fruit. 

Bundy said the store also offers regular or blended energy drinks, with Red Bull or Lotus options. 

“What sets us apart is we have Lotus on a pop-gun,” she said. “We have every flavor of Lotus on the gun, and it comes out perfectly mixed every time. Most regular espresso stands mix their own Lotus and their own carbonated water and add ice. Ours comes out mixed every time with the perfect balance.”

Bundy said it is worth the expense because customers are receiving “the best lotus they can get.” 

Yelm’s Northwest Grind also offers breakfast items, including homemade biscuits and gravy, homemade cinnamon rolls and more. 

“I want the Yelm community to know how excited we are to be out in Yelm, and that we already feel so welcomed,” Bundy said. “We’re excited to be a part of the community and to be getting involved with the schools and other community events. I also want Yelm to know that we feel there’s room for every coffee shop in Yelm, and we admire all of the coffee shops in Yelm. We’re not there to compete, just to add a different flavor to the town.” 

Bundy said Northwest Grind intends to be involved in different ways with Yelm Community Schools. 

“When school gets back in session, I want to be more a part of the community and get involved with the schools,” she said. “In Rochester, we were always involved with Rochester High School and their younger kids. We do giveaways, big baskets worth hundreds of dollars, and I’m always up for doing donations. I really want to be community-oriented in Yelm. That’s my next goal. We want to do different fundraisers if people need help with something, and different events like that.” 

Yelm’s Northwest Grind is open seven days a week: from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays; 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays; and 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays.