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Following Dreams and Moving Forward

It's been a crazy couple of years, huh? 2019 was good for us. We had events at Port Noir Wine & Martini Bar, Wine & Cheese, Krema Coffee, Tredwell Coffee, Louis Joliet Mall, Naper Pride, multiple local libraries, and a few corporate and private events. In early 2020, we hosted the game library at Lodge Con in Kankakee. We were on track to open a brick-and-mortar location. 1 week before our meeting to rent a space, everything shut down. The world stood still. Critical Grind came to an abrupt halt. All events we had scheduled for the year were, understandably, canceled. We were granted a loan from the SBA, which thankfully was forgiven, to hold us over. It let us keep our website up and our accounting software running, because taxes.

In December of 2021, my dad, Brian Buxbaum, unexpectadly passed away. He was 65 years old and had just retired. He was one of my favorite people and I miss him every day. Dad and I had plans to go to Europe and New Orleans. He was going to learn to make lattes and work part-time at my coffee shop. There were a lot of things we never got to do. But there were a lot of things he did get to do. He was a musician. He was in a metal band, Damien Thorne, that played metal festivals in Amsterdam and Greece. He traveled. He wrote music and recorded albums. He went for rides on his motorcycle. He had adventures.

Critical Grind's motto has always been "Life is short. Play more games." That has never felt truer than now. The world is on fire and we don't see anything really putting it out. It's time to move forward with our dream, work our butts off, and hope it pays off.

We came up with the name Critical Grind Gaming intending to eventually add "Café" to the end of it. Get it? Grind? Coffee? Well, it's time. The Critical Grind Board Game Café will soon be a reality. Shaun and I have decided to finally dive in. We are opening a board gaming coffee shop. We will have coffee, tea, pastries, specialty toasts, and board games. You can buy games from us, you can grab a game off the library shelf and sit to play, OR we will have a rental system in place where you can rent the game for a few days and bring it home to play with your family in the safety and comfort of your own home.

We have forged a relationship with Two Brothers Coffee Roasters. We will be brewing their coffee exclusively, selling bags for you to take home, and they are giving us our own special blend available ONLY at Critical Grind Cafe.

We have a space already, 852 Sharp Dr, unit L. in Shorewood, and are working hard to get it café ready. We have spent a lot of our savings on most of the equipment we need. Unfortunately, there will be way more remodeling costs than we originally planned. Our business doesn't qualify for new business loans because we've been around since 2018 and we don't qualify for expanding business loans because we have had no revenue for the last 2 years. We are hoping the generosity of strangers will pull us through. We have created a GoFundMe intending to raise enough money to cover the costs of the electrical, plumbing, and general remodeling that needs to be done.

Please consider helping us follow our dreams by following the link below, donating, and sharing with your friends and family.

Please consider helping us follow our dreams by following the link below, donating, and sharing with your friends and family.

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