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Uptown’s Andy Havemeier: An Inspiring Listening Event Brought To Us By Creative Mornings Grand Rapids

By Dana Kroll, Uptown Marketing and Communications Specialist


On January 19th, Uptown’s very own Andy Havemeier, Co-Owner of Wealthy Street and Hall Street Bakeries, was invited to be the guest speaker for January’s “Talk”; a monthly speaking series that is hosted by Creative Mornings Grand Rapids. Team Uptown had the pleasure of attending Andy’s speech, and it made us really proud. We would love to take a beat to share about that experience with you in today’s blog.


Let’s begin with Creative Mornings. If you were previously unaware of this incredible international organization, here is a brief introduction, lifted from the About’ tab of their website:


“Creative Mornings is the world’s largest face-to-face creative community; hosting local events every Friday, virtual field trips every week, and jobs postings via the Creative Guild. Attendees gather in cities around the world and online via virtual field Trips to enjoy creative inspiration and meaningful connections. Volunteer hosts and their teams organize local chapters that not only celebrate their city’s creative talent, but also create an open space to connect with other big-hearted individuals.”

Creative Mornings is organized via city- and community- level chapters, and that includes a chapter right here in GR. In addition to the various events and engagements listed above, our chapter additionally hosts its own (aforementioned) ‘Talk’, once per month. During these, Grand Rapids creative and business community members are invited to attend one hour of insightful speech, by one guest; an area businessperson, a community member, a creative personality…and oftentimes, all of the above. Attendance is free, though guests must register to hold their seat.

Each month, the guest speaker is given a one-word topic with which to guide the topic of their speech in whatever way they choose.

Andy’s topic was, ‘Rise.’ What he shared with us during his hour was nothing short of inspiring.


Andy chose to illustrate the concept of ‘Rise’ within his own life, by sharing with us his life’s journey. From growing up as part of a family-owned business (his family owns and operates Herman’s Boy, a popular coffee roaster and deli located in the Rockford area), through the depths of addiction and homelessness, and back, now as a new husband, dad of two darlings sons, and co-owner of two of the most successful and well-known bakeries in West Michigan.


We were particularly moved when he shared how his journey helped him to learn the differences between “complacency” and “contentment”…and between “deserving”, and “earning”. His insights were thought-provoking and his tenacity inspiring. Andy’s perspective on the concept of ‘Rise’ was that it can manifest itself as opportunity across all facets of life. From the deeply difficult, to life’s everyday trials and tribulations. In listening to him speak, we realized that that is a spirit that is alive and well, and is a driving force behind so many hard-working small business owners and operators in Uptown, who answer the challenge to ‘Rise’, each and every day.



Meanwhile, the Creative Mornings organization is one that is near and dear to ours, as they regularly interface with our district in a myriad of ways. Recent Uptown guest speakers also have included Dean Jefferey, of Good Judy’s Market and Juice Bar. Dean’s incredible words and charming presentation on the topic of ‘Acceptance’, can be found here. Dean and his partner-in-all things, Connor, also generously hosted their Talk right from their own cozy juice bar space on Wealthy Street.


Additionally, past venues have included spaces right here in Uptown (great spots like Cultivate GR, Wealthy Street Theatre, and more), and many of our small businesses participate by providing snacks or coffee, and of course, their attendance and support!


A video of Andy’s Talk will soon be loaded to the Creative Mornings GR webpage. We will be sure to share that with you when it is. Until then, consider checking Creative Mornings GR out via Instagram. And don’t forget to pop by Wealthy Street Bakery soon too. Grab a pastry, a pizza, or a cup of coffee, and remember that today is always good day to ‘Rise’!