Self-employed in Muskegon: Where to work when home is driving you crazy

After opening in February 2016, The Coffee Factory has been drawing many a freelancer in need of caffeine and wifi. Photo by Anna Gustafson

For those of us living the freelance or self-employed life, it can be isolating to hunker down and spend your days in a home office. But, as freelancers make up more and more of the economy (as of 2016, they comprised 35 percent of the U.S. workforce), there are an increasing number of spaces where people can work outside of the home. Whether you want coffee and wi-fi or would like to be around others in an office-like environment, there’s a number of spots you can head to here in Muskegon.

If you have a favorite spot to work that we’ve missed, let us know in the comments below!

The Coffee Factory

Where: 930 Washington Ave., Suite 1B
Hours: Mondays through Fridays – 6:30am to 8pm
Saturdays – 8am to 8pm
Sundays – 9am to 3pm
Contact: (231) 727-0805
What to expect: Housed in the former Shaw Walker Furniture factory, The Coffee Factory opened its doors in February 2016 and has since drawn everyone from vinyl fans to artists and, of course, those in search of caffeine to fuel the days staring at a laptop. The Coffee Factory serves up Madcap Coffee from Grand Rapids, in addition to a food menu that includes sandwiches, quiche, cookies, and more. While the space can be busy, it’s rare that we haven’t found a seat there, so it’s easy to grab your computer, access their free wi-fi and spend your morning or afternoon with a whole lot of java.

Hackley Public Library. Photo by Anna Gustafson

Hackley Public Library

Where: 316 W. Webster Ave.
Hours: Mondays and Tuesdays – 12pm to 8pm
Wednesdays through Saturdays – 10am to 5pm
Sundays- closed
Contact: 231-722-8000
What to expect: For the the traditional office-less folk, there’s no better place to go than the library when you need to get work done. The wi-fi is free, the seating is plentiful, it’s nice and quiet, and the fact that you’re in one of the prettiest buildings in the city is pretty darn great. Plus, if you need a computer, the library has a computer lab that’s free and open to the public (for more about the public computers, you can go here). And when you need a break from all that work? You’ve got an almost endless supply of books right at your fingertips. Check out some of the Hackley staff’s favorites here, or take a look at works from incredible authors living in West Michigan, like Muskegon resident Roberta King’s “He Plays a Harp;” the newest tome from Grand Rapids’ Adam Schuitema, “The Things We Do That Make No Sense;” Grand Valley State University Professor Amorak Huey’s collections of poetry; and many more.

CoLaunch at the Muskegon Innovation Hub

Where: 200 Viridian Dr.
Hours: Mondays through Fridays – 8am to 5pm
Contact: (616) 331-6900
What to expect: If you’re looking for more of a traditional office and a place where you can meet other entrepreneurs, head to CoLaunch, the co-working spot that debuted not too long ago at the the Muskegon Innovation Hub. Established by the city of Muskegon, Grand Valley State University, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Muskegon Innovation Hub (frequently referred to as “the Hub”) offers support to the city’s entrepreneurs in a variety of ways, including coworking space. At CoLaunch, you can access private offices, high-speed wireless internet, a kitchenette, free snacks and coffee, storage space for bikes, and more. Membership varies, from $10 a day to $250 a month, for which you get a long list of perks. You can see what each of the memberships will land you here.

Drip Drop Drink. Photo by Anna Gustafson

Drip Drop Drink

Where: 360 W. Western Ave.
Hours: Mondays through Thursdays – 8am to 5pm
Fridays and Saturdays – 8am to 6pm
Sundays – 10am to 4pm
Contact: (231) 672-0538
What to expect: With its front windows looking out onto downtown Muskegon, Drip Drop Drink is not only great for people watching, it’s a welcoming space for those lugging laptops as well. Chat with one of the friendly baristas about the “slow coffee movement” (the shop uses a handcrafted drip-style coffee using artisan roasted coffee beans, which translates to, well, really good coffee) and treat yourself to an iced pour-over before logging onto their free wi-fi. If you can’t find a seat in the front, you can usually snag a table outdoors or a spot at the tables by Unruly Brewing. And, speaking of Unruly Brewing, if you’re looking for a different kind of brew, grab a beer and use the wi-fi there. Can’t decide if you want coffee or beer? Check out Unruly’s “Drip Drop Drunk,” a rich brown ale that’s brewed using coffee from Drip Drop Drink. As Unruly explains, they “steeped an insane amount of freshly roasted coffee beans in the finished beer,” which means your work day is about to get a whole lot happier.

Ryke’s Bakery, Catering & Cafe
Where: 1788 Terrace St.
Hours: Mondays through Fridays – 6:30am to 5:30pm
Saturdays and Sundays – 7am to 3pm
Contact: (231) 726-2253
What to expect: Ryke’s has been a mainstay in Muskegon since 1937, and it’s no secret as to why: good food, good coffee, good company. Come for the donuts, stay for the lunch and try to get some work done in between on their free wi-fi.

Photo via Rootdown.

Rootdown
Where: 333 W. Western Ave.
Hours: Mondays through Thursdays – 9am to 7pm
Fridays and Saturdays – 9am to 3pm
Sundays – closed
Contact: (231) 722-9642
What to expect: Working from home can often mean long hours spent in front of the computer. Give yourself a healthy boost by heading to Rootdown, a yoga studio and juice bar in downtown Muskegon. There, you can get free wi-fi while taking a break for yoga and the full service juice bar, smoothies and salads.

Anna Gustafson is the editor of the Muskegon Times. You can connect with her by emailing MuskegonTimes@gmail.com or on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

2 thoughts on “Self-employed in Muskegon: Where to work when home is driving you crazy

  • August 30, 2017 at 2:16 am
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    Why leave out pigeon Hill and top shelf? Both offer drinks and food as well as free wifi. There are plenty of other places but these two are clearly popular yet not overcrowded during the work day. Certainly worth mentioning.

    Bonus points for Ryke’s.

    Lastly, if you make a habit of working publicly accessible wifi, please do yourself and favor and connect with a vpn. Anyone on that network and watch what you are doing and potentially steal information. I like to think that stuff like that happens but I work in the industry. It’s not safe, especially when working.

    Reply
  • August 30, 2017 at 10:54 am
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    This is an excellent resource. Thank you.

    Reply

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