Rock Perks Spotlight: Harmony Hall
By Mason Nichols
After Harmony Brewing Company opened Harmony Eastown, ownership quickly realized they would need a bigger facility to make more beer and keep pace with demand. So, when the opportunity came to secure a historic space on Grand Rapids’ ever-growing West Side, co-owner Heather Van Dyke-Titus and her two brothers jumped at the chance, opening Harmony Hall in 2015.
But the origins of Harmony Brewing and Harmony Hall go well beyond high-quality beer and food. The siblings have always shared a family culture of bringing people together over beautiful homecooked food — a passion that was ignited thanks to their mother. Even as adults, Heather and her brothers Jackson and Barry continued to focus on scratch cooking and the joy of sharing good food with people.
Before opening Harmony, the siblings worked together rehabilitating old houses and commercial buildings in the Uptown neighborhood. While performing the restoration work, they were always intentional about the way these structures were brought back into the neighborhood. Thanks to this work, the trio developed a commitment to focusing on their craft and being mindful about the way communities are built. This approach translated perfectly to the way they run their restaurants, including Harmony Hall.
We sat down with Heather to chat more about Harmony Hall and what it’s like operating a business in Grand Rapids.
What makes Harmony Hall different from the competition?
While our primary focus is on the food, beer and space we offer, we also recognize that the culture we create is one of our products. Harmony Hall is run by three local siblings — our understanding of the neighborhood and city is an important component of how we operate. Our internal culture prioritizes creativity, relationships, community, taking care of people, and creating delicious and creative food and drinks in a joyful way. We also place an emphasis on silliness and whimsy.
What’s your favorite thing about operating a business in Grand Rapids?
In Grand Rapids, folks are genuinely interested in what you’re doing and looking to participate and support. Media is always very willing to cover what you’re doing.
Also, because we’re not Chicago or New York, there’s a bit more room to try things out. This allows us to take more chances on people, ideas, new dishes and more.
What’s the most satisfying part about serving your customers and the community?
For me, it’s being able to make a connection. People want to connect. If someone is enjoying one of our beers and I can share the story behind the beer — how it got its name or why we created it — then folks can connect and feel invested, which adds to their enjoyment (and mine too).
Another satisfying piece is how as an entrepreneur and a small business owner I can use our business as a vehicle to create connection, whether that be through new events, ideas, support or jobs. We understand that the culture we create here and the way we interact with our neighborhood impacts our community and therefore the city. We’re thoughtful about this because we take the job of co-creating the city seriously.
Why did you join the Rock Perks program? What benefits has it brought to your business and your customers?
We joined the Rock Perks program because we know it’s a great way to connect with our neighbors. It’s great for us to be able to get the word out about events, trivia, music, and new food and beer releases directly to our Rockford neighbors!
What’s on the horizon for Harmony Hall?
We’re continuing to grow into this beautiful historic building. We hope to add more outdoor seating next year. Right now, we’re focusing on having something cool going on every day that we’re open. Check out our website for new things every month!
As a Rockford Property Management resident, member of Blue35 or Rockford Construction team member, you have access to the Rock Perks program, which will get you free cheesy breadsticks with any purchase at Harmony Hall. You can also take advantage of Harmony Hall’s Mug Club discounts. Just check to see if your apartment community’s mug is on the rack. If so, grab it and enjoy the benefits of being in the club! Don’t have a Rock Perks card yet? Consider joining us as a resident.