In 2010, life was forever changed for Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand; but despite his quadriplegia — which occurred after a severe spinal cord injury during a game on October 16, 2010– severe spinal cord injury during a LeGrand remains unfazed, and eleven years later, he’s taking on a whole new venture – coffee.
“I said, ‘Holy sh—. What have I been missing out on?’” exclaimed LeGrand after he tried his first cup of java for the first time ever last summer. He initially became turned on to the drink when friends would send him snapshots of their home offices, and he would spy their morning coffees as they worked through the pandemic. From there, he decided to learn all he could about coffee and the business of java. That knowledge and gusto became the inspiration for his online shop LeGrand Coffee House, which opened six months later. Even in the face of a global pandemic, LeGrand sees the business as a chance to provide “a “Daily Cup of bELieve” that will remind [people] to attack their goals each and every day.”
“Eighty-five percent of the world drinks coffee. And when people drink a cup of coffee, why do they do it? They need a little pick-me-up, they’re down, they’re tired, they’re out of it,” LeGrand said. “And when they look at me, what do they think about? Inspiration, motivation, a leader. Now when you drink my coffee beans, you’re getting a double-whammy at the same time and a reminder on how you should put things in perspective for yourself about how you go about attacking your day, or that little afternoon or evening pick-me-up that you need.”
And this coming August, LeGrand plans to expand the business and establish its first brick-and-mortar location in his hometown of Woodbridge, NJ. He is optimistic about the opportunity to create jobs and to use his celebrity to make the new store a destination spot for visitors from all over. “My hometown has a huge place in my heart, they’ve always supported me and had my back through my injury and even before that and always supported me in everything I did, so I wanted my coffee house to bring my community together.”