CME Federal Credit Union

Prototypes + Renovations / Strategy → Design → Build → Interiors / 4,400 SQ. FT.

The Challenge

Drawing members back into physical branch locations is a common challenge for financial institutions. Yet despite the struggle to draw in new and existing members, the retail marketplace continues to thrive. Stores, coffee shops, and restaurants all still share a great deal of success in drawing in new customers, if their designs and concepts are appealing. But how can financial institutions utilize this same success? How can elements of a retail market be translated into a financial one? For CME Federal Credit Union (CME FCU), it all started with an idea – let’s include a coffee shop within our branch.

CME Federal Credit Union partnered with NewGround to deliver an innovative experience that blended their unique financial service offerings with the cozy comfort and product offerings of Crimson Cup. Crimson Cup had already agreed to the project idea, but CME FCU needed a partner who could build not just the financial part of the building, but also the restaurant and food service sections for Crimson Cup. They also needed a client who could combine the brands in a way that felt natural. NewGround, having experience in both the financial and retail sectors, was happy to help.

The Journey

After a Discovery Session with both CME FCU and Crimson Cup, NewGround designers and architects set to work. To keep things secure, the financial sector is separated from the Crimson Cup area. However, the lounge area for customers and members retains a blending of both brands, creating a comforting and cozy atmosphere that encourages relaxation and pleasant conversation. When CME Federal Credit Union closes for the day, a glass wall can slide over the credit union section, keeping things secure while the coffee shop continues to welcome customers. The wall contains large, beautiful graphics, creating an artistic space even when the credit union is closed. When it is open, CME Federal Credit Union’s dynamic branding and loyalty to their original member-base, firefighters and first responders, is the focus. CME Federal Credit Union also utilized a “tech hub” concept, where members can get one-on-one collaboration and help with tech or account problems they could be facing. This design encourages collaboration and community unity, a theme closely tied to CME Federal Credit Union’s branding. This branding is prevalent on the external of the building as well, with windows and doors specifically crafted to look like large firefighter bay doors with rich brick accents and features.

The Destination

After months of hard work, collaboration, and constant communication, CME Federal Credit Union now has a dynamic branch complete with a unique Crimson Cup coffee shop experience on the inside. Whether members or customers are coming for financial assistance or a hot cup of coffee, they are welcomed into the space with a central fireplace, warm branding, and a core community feel. We’re honored to have helped craft such an innovative and Groundbreaking design, and we’re looking forward to what comes next for these incredibly clients!