Falcon said Bishop and Gallay were disgruntled employees who did not receive their W-4 forms on time and were then paid. Grace currently has around 120 employees and no payroll issues, Falcon said.
Grace Coffee has grown extremely rapidly, especially since its expansion largely occurred during the pandemic. By comparison, local coffeehouse chain Barriques Coffee Roasters and Cafes had expanded to eight locations since 1998, but closed its Park Street location earlier this year (before Grace opened across the street ) and announced last week the closure of its Atwood location by the end of the year.
Matt Weygandt, co-owner of Barrels, said he’s not concerned about Grace’s speed of growth, even though a Grace store has opened three blocks from its Middleton location. This closeness just makes him consider what he can do best, he said.
He said he didn’t know much about Grace, but applauded her ambition. “If they’re able to do it, more power for them,” Weygandt said. “I am always a supporter of someone who is willing to put their hard work and capital at risk, even if it is someone who is in a competing company.”
Falcon, who moved to Madison from his hometown of Seattle and opened his first Grace Coffee at 417 State St. four months later, said as the business grew he needed impose more structure, “because without that what we realize is trying to be nice and trying to be good to people, sometimes they cross that line and things go wrong.