Fortress Cafe - a local coffee shop in downtown Jackson Michigan

Fortress Cafe: A Local Coffee Shop in Downtown Jackson Michigan

This is a sponsored feature post for Fortress Cafe – a local coffee shop in downtown Jackson Michigan.

Fortress Cafe - overhead view

“I’d like a 16oz Fortress Latte – hot with oat milk – and some granola bites, please.”

This is my standard order when I walk into the Lean Rocket Lab’s front lobby in downtown Jackson Michigan. It’s the home to one of my favorite Jackson coffee shops – Fortress Cafe.

Fortress Cafe has been “fueling community in downtown Jackson Michigan” since 2018.

Why We Love Fortress Cafe: A Local Coffee Shop in Jackson Michigan

Greeted by the friendly barista, I place my order. Then, depending on the day, I :

  • settle in at one of the tables to enjoy conversation with a friend,
  • find a seat up at the bar overlooking downtown Jackson to get some work done remotely,
  • wander back to the co-working space for a meeting, or
  • grab my drink and healthy snacks to-go as I head off to work.

Fortress Cafe in Downtown Jackson

But coffee and granola bites aren’t the only items on the Fortress Cafe menu in downtown Jackson.

A quick glance at the Fortress Cafe Instagram account will have your mouth watering.

Fortress Cafe - a local coffee shop in downtown Jackson Michigan Fortress Cafe on Instagram

Partnering with Grand River Brewery Catering and hosting pop-ups for Dough Nation featuring artisan breads and bagels, there is a delicious variety of healthy and hearty grab-and-go goodies available on any given day at the downtown coffee shop location.

It’s not difficult to see why many consider Fortress Cafe to be one of the best local coffee shops in downtown Jackson Michigan!

An Interview with Fortress Coffee: Local Coffee Shop in Downtown Jackson

Recently, I had a chance to chat with Duncan Bone, one of the brothers-in-law who partner together to bring Fortress Coffee and Fortress Cafe to Jackson Michigan.

Duncan Bone of Fortress Cafe

What was the catalyst for opening Fortress Cafe in Downtown Jackson?

My business partner (and brother-in-law), Thomas, had been roasting coffee beans in small batches here in Jackson for about four years and was dreaming of opening a coffee house. I was approached by the Lean Rocket Lab about the possibility of opening a coffee shop in the front lobby of their co-working space. The opportunity felt right, and we decided to open Fortress Cafe  – a local coffee shop in Downtown Jackson – in December 2018.

What is your favorite part about owning/operating your business?

I love making people’s day. Being a coffee shop that serves healthy grab-and-go snacks, we have the ability to provide a product and atmosphere that brings comfort and joy while providing a connection point. People can pop for a quick treat, meet a friend for coffee, or find a quiet place to work for a few hours.

Fortress Cafe menu - Blackened Chicken Wrap

What is your favorite item on the menu?

Since we serve food, drinks, and snacks, it can be difficult to pick a single favorite item. I think my favorite food item would have to be the blackened chicken wrap, and I love the dirty spice chai drink.

What is unique about your coffee shop? What sets it apart from other coffee shops in Jackson?

We are a small local coffee shop with a focus on healthy food. We roast our coffee fresh each week in small batches, and we partner with Veritas Catering to provide healthy menu options for our patrons.

Fortress Cafe - Meckleys Popup

How does Fortress Cafe invest in the local Jackson Michigan community?

We chose to open our local coffee shop in Jackson Michigan because that’s where we live. It was a way to be invested and involved in our local community. As a company, we invest in local community events and opportunities – you can often find us participating in:

  • pop-ups at Meckley’s Flavor Fruit Farm,
  • Bright Walls events,
  • the Gus Macker tournament,
  • the Downtown Jackson Christmas Parade,
  • and other community events.

If you had to describe Fortress Cafe in three words, what would they be?

  1. Delicious
  2. Fresh
  3. Friendly

Fortress Cafe - Latte and Granola Bites

Reviews of Fortress Cafe: A Local Coffee Shop in Jackson Michigan

We agree – Fortress Cafe is delicious, fresh, and friendly. And it looks like we’re not the only ones who think so!

“I love fortress cafe, from the staff that aren’t just “the people who make me coffee in the morning” they’re now my friends, to the drinks! Everything you order is delicious. Prices are better than other local coffee shops and the quality is wonderful. The owner has done his research and picked only good quality product and is trying to be as healthy as possible with his selections! Love love love” – Christi M. on Facebook

“My go to place in Jackson for lunch, snacks, and coffee. The matcha with maple syrup or Rocket Fuel if I need a big boost. Love the protein shakes too. The wraps and scotch eggs are what I grab most often. Super friendly staff too! Multiple times a week for the past year kind of fan here!” – Matt H. on Google

Fortress Cafe latte

“Love this place! This is the first place my husband and I went in when we explored Jackson. We were pretty sure we’d be moving here, so we wanted to scope out the place. The man behind the counter welcomed us warmly and told us a bit about Jackson, restaurant recommendations, etc. The honey cinnamon latte was very good! All around good experience. Really excited to see their menu with Veritas!” – Sarah J. on Yelp

“Great service, great product, great location, great local business. It doesn’t get better than this!” – David H. on Facebook

Fortress Cafe - coffee to go

Visit Fortress Cafe in Downtown Jackson

Ready to check it out for yourself?

You can visit Fortress Cafe at 133 W Michigan Ave (in the front lobby of the Lean Rocket Lab in downtown Jackson) every day of the week except Sunday. They are open 6:30 am – 4:30 pm Monday through Friday and 9:30 am – 4:00 pm on Saturday.

Learn more at and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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