Fresh food as well as freshly roasted coffee is now on the menu of the Dunn Bros Coffee store in Coon Rapids.
Located at Northdale and Foley boulevards, the Coon Rapids Dunn Bros Coffee launched its Provisions Bakery Cafe Monday.
Construction work on the new kitchen area was completed Friday and employees were trained in making and serving the fresh food over the weekend, according to Marv Sorvala, independent franchise owner of the Coon Rapids store.
Sorvala opened the Coon Rapids Dunn Bros Coffee in April 2007, just before the recession hit, so “it has been a bit of struggle,” he said.
But the store now breaks even and he sees the Provisions Bakery Cafe as an op- portunity to grow business, Sorvala said.
Dunn Brothers test marketed the Provisions Bakery Cafe concept at three of its stores in the country where it is has done really well and has been well accepted by the public, according to Sorvala.
“Two of those stores were losing money and are now making money,” Sorvala said.
At the beginning of the year, Dunn Brothers opened the Provisions Bakery Cafe option to other franchise owners in the country and Sorvala was one of 10 to take advantage of the opportunity.
Provisions Bakery Cafe serves fresh bread products in the morning and freshly prepared sandwiches all day at a reasonable price as well as offering delivery and catering services to local businesses, Sorvala said.
Sorvala hopes the new cafe will draw traffic to the store all day, not just in the morning when customers want a cup of coffee, he said.
The new kitchen has been constructed in the former bean bar area where the freshly roasted coffee beans were on display; they have been moved to another part of the store.
In addition, baking ovens have been installed in the kitchen.
Sorvala served food at the store before, but it was not fresh.
“The food was good, but not as good as fresh food,” Sorvala said.
“We are excited to offer fresh food to our customers.”
Sorvala sent emails to 3,500 of his customers announcing the new service and has received a positive response, he said.
“Customers seem excited and I can see the business growing,” Sorvala said.
For example, customers will be able to eat fresh, hot muffins with their coffee in the morning and get fresh, hot sandwiches, salads and desserts for lunch, he said.
Fresh produce, bread products and meats are delivered directly to the store, Sorvala said.
Sorvala’s daughter and store manager, Lisa Fiksen, has a chef’s degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Mendota Heights.
She’s thrilled by the Provisions Bakery fresh food and thinks it will drive customers to the store, Fiksen said.
Creating the fresh food product does present a challenge to the drive-through traffic, which makes up half the customers of the Coon Rapids Dunn Bros, according to Sorvala.
But that’s what part of the 12 hours of training for employees was about Saturday and Sunday – timely customer service, Sorvala said.
The store has seating for 40 people.
According to the Dunn Brothers website, the Minneapolis-based company was founded in 1987 and has some 90 locations in the country.
The first Provisions Bakery Cafe opened in August 2011 in Minneapolis.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]