Woman-run local coffee shop stays upbeat throughout the pandemic

Drifter coffee in Ferndale offers a safe outdoor space and pop-ups

Drifter Coffee (Kailey Howell)

Drifter Coffee is one of our nominees for our Vote 4 The Best Editor’s Pick Patron Safety category. Patron Safety has affected all businesses due to the pandemic, and Drifter Coffee is one of those businesses that did everything they could to keep their employees and customers safe.

“It has been very tense because we aren’t always sure of what the right move is week to week,” says owner Alleah Webb about the shop’s decisions over the past six months. Thankfully, locals love Drifter Coffee!

“We are blessed with a community that really wants us to be there,” says Webb “they have sent us donations to our staff as well as adapted to our ever-changing list of offerings. They support us in any way they can and it’s truly heartwarming.”

Drifter Coffee (WDIV)

Lately, Drifter has had local businesses do pop-ups in the front yard of the shop as well as hosting small workshops. “It brings in some income as well as giving the community something fun to do on the weekends. It’s like a little market,” says Webb.

During the start of the pandemic, Drifter Coffee started offering bottled beverages and introduced different merch, including potted plants, for their customers to order online for curbside pickup. “We have pivoted what we offer and how much we worked based on the threat level of the virus,” says Webb.

Drifter Coffee (WDIV)

When Michigan started to go into Phase 4, Drifter invested in a “safe outdoor space” for their customers. “We always wear masks inside the building and have doubled down on sanitizing. We have a plexiglass shield protecting our staff from the customers, who all remain outside” says Webb.

Drifter Coffee (WDIV)

The women-run coffee shop is located off Woodward Heights in Ferndale and has recently had its one-year anniversary for this location. Drifter began in 2015 as a mobile coffee shop taking place in a 1971 Serro Scotty trailer. To learn more about Drifter Coffee, follow them on Instagram, and give them a like on Facebook.

You can also learn more about the other great local nominees and winners for Vote 4 The Best here.

Our Sponsor -- We’d like to thank Wallside Windows for their longtime sponsorship of Vote 4 the Best and their support of southeast Michigan’s local businesses. Wallside is a Taylor, MI-based family business that manufactures and installs custom replacement windows, now in their third generation.