Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Fresh coffee, fresh new look, is the order of the day at Dunn

Posted on 18 December 2017 by calvin

Article and all photos by JAN WILLMS
There is a fresh new look to Dunn Brothers Coffee at 4648 E. Lake St. Following a transition in ownership last April, Cassie German has taken over as manager of this location.

“The changes have taken place in the last couple months,” German said. “It was looking tired, and we spruced it up with a new remodel.”

“We did some painting, put in some new carpet and light fixtures,” added District Manager Angie Peterson. “And all the art that is posted is from our origin trips.”

“We go on origin trips, traveling to different countries in South America, like Nicaragua and El Salvador,” explained Greg Rosenberg, senior franchise business consultant. “The photos on the walls are from the actual farms we buy our beans from.”

“We also added a mural,” Peterson said. “It was great while we were doing it. All the customers got to see it and were excited about it.”

Photo right: (l to r) Greg Rosenberg, Cassie German, Angie Peterson.

According to German, the coffee shop was only closed for a couple of days during the transition in ownership. They kept it open during the remodeling. “We did everything we could to keep going during remodeling,” she said. “We did the painting after hours.”
She said the remodeled shop now has a booth area, which opens up the space a little bit. “It feels good to be here in an environment that is fresh and clean,” she noted.

Peterson said the outdoor sign has been updated and an awning that had made the coffee shop a bit darker has been removed. And new patio furniture is ready to be set outside when winter is over.

Dunn Brothers had its beginnings 30 years ago, based in Minneapolis. “The original franchisee then bought the company, and there are currently 85 locations in seven different states,” said Rosenberg. Dunn Brothers has been at its Lake St. location since 2005. “Dunn Brothers Coffee now owns this location.” Rosenberg continued.

As manager, German said she has been in the coffee world for about 17 years. She lives in the Longfellow neighborhood and said she was excited to manage this location.

“It has been fun to watch it all come together,” she said. “It went fast after the painting was done, and I see familiar faces every day. There are a lot of college students and bikers who come by, and we become basically like a family.”

German said she thinks what sets Dunn Brothers aside from other coffee shops is its authenticity. “It’s a combination of the people we hire and roasting our beans in the store that makes us stand out,” she said. “We are really good at knowing the whole process, and if we were not authentic, we wouldn’t be here.”

“Hiring the right people is crucial,” she stated. She said a couple of the past employees stayed on, but many returned to school or traveled.

German said having parking space available is very beneficial for customers. “Some need just to get in and get out,” she said.

“We also just launched online ordering,” Peterson commented. “Anybody living in the neighborhood or living upstairs can place their order, then come and get their coffee.”

“Sometimes people wander in wearing their pajamas, from the apartments upstairs,” German said. “They just order their coffee and come and get it.”

Dunn Brothers bakes its own pastries except for anything requiring a deep fryer. It has two ovens in the location. A limited number of sandwiches are also brought in. “We have fresh breakfast sandwiches and burritos,” Rosenberg said. Soups are also served.

“Our hours are 6am to 6pm seven days a week,” said German. “We will expand our hours over the warmer months.” She said the current staff is under 10 employees.

German said she found the biggest challenge so far to be getting everybody trained and on the same page. “That has been the biggest puzzle piece for me,” she said. “There are always things like equipment problems or the Internet going down, but that is normal stuff that happens with running a business.”

She said the most rewarding part has been the customer support.
“Dunn Brothers is a part of their community, and they had to transition with us. The regulars are back and bringing in those that haven’t been in for a while.”

She related a story about a customer who brought in a friend, and the friend commented that he did not think the shop looked that much different. “Are you kidding me? It looks totally different,” the customer responded.

“I love it,” German said about being the manager. “It feels good to see people from all walks of life coming through our doors. We hope everyone will come and check us out.”

Martin Luther King Jr Tribute

Little Brothers

U of M Brain Study

citizen advisory board