May-June 2015 | STANDING THEIR GROUNDS

STANDING THEIR GROUNDS
Dana Gottloeb and Denise TolsonSTANDING THEIR GROUNDSSTANDING THEIR GROUNDSSTANDING THEIR GROUNDS

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STANDING THEIR GROUNDS

Newlyweds Dana Gottloeb and Denise Tolson are pouring their hearts and talents into On What Grounds in Berlin

Dana Gottloeb and Denise Tolson infused both local history and marketing savvy into the logo for their new Berlin coffeehouse, On What Grounds. The sign perched over their door depicts the iconic scales of justice being balanced on each side by cups of steaming coffee.

The space at 103. N. Main Street had once been the offices of attorneys Sanford and Bolte, “so we figured we’d incorporate those themes of law and justice into our name and logo, to give a certain sense of history and continuity,” Gottloeb said.

Also doing justice to the business is its proprietor’s experience. With more than 22 years under his belt as the owner-manager of a coffee shop, Gottloeb has used his knowledge of the industry to resurrect locally what he calls the “hybrid coffeehouse,” which offers a variety of both mainstream and specialty coffees brewed with multiple techniques.

“Though we obviously offer auto-drip coffees for those customers in a hurry, we also prepare fresh coffee brewed with what’s called the pour-over method, which has been popular in places like the West Coast and Chicago for a while now,” said Gottloeb, who uses coffee beans only from Chicago’s high-end direct-trade roaster-retailer, Intelligentsia.


The pour-over method basically involves grinding fresh coffee beans and pouring them into a filter that’s hovering over a cup, then slow-brewing that cup with a hot-water kettle. Though the process is comparatively time-consuming, Gottloeb feels it’s worth it for the freshness of flavor and aromatics it confers.

Their popular made-to-order breakfast sandwiches and baked goods are essentially Denise’s province. A longtime chocolatier, Denise’s bakery case offers homemade brownies, chocolate-dipped cookies and chocolate-dipped graham crackers, as well as scones, muffins, crumb cakes, cinnamon rolls, bagels and more.

Relax in one of their cushy leather chairs sometime soon and experience any of the coffees and fresh-made food products On What Grounds has to offer. When you’re there, be sure to congratulate the newlywed business partners, who tied the knot on April 25.
 — NAB/GLG





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