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Cabin Coffee franchise coming to BE

By Staff | Apr 12, 2020

The new Cabin Coffee restaurant will probably be similar to this one which is located in St. Charles.

Just a couple of months ago Blue Earth City Councilman John Huisman learned the Cabin Coffee Company of Clear Lake, Iowa, was trying to find a person interested in being the owner/operator of a Cabin Coffee franchise in Blue Earth.

Huisman tried to help them find someone willing to invest in the operation and run it.

“They had three people, or couples, who were interested,” Huisman says. “But, for one reason or another, nothing was ever finalized.”

So, Huisman decided to take advantage of the opportunity and do it himself.

On Wednesday, April 1, Huisman signed the papers to purchase a piece of land north of the Blue Earth Pizza Hut, and last week he signed the final franchise agreement with Cabin Coffee and paid the franchise fee.

“So, it’s a go,” he says. “My son, Quinn, and I are the new owners and operators of a Cabin Coffee franchise in Blue Earth. We expect to be open and operating this fall, by Thanksgiving at the latest.”

It will be the 23rd Cabin Coffee franchise to open.

The next steps, according to Huisman, are to decide on the look of the building (Cabin Coffee has several different styles of their stores), choose a local contractor to do the construction (Cabin Coffee has the general contractor already hired), and then get busy building.

“We really want to get working on it in the next few weeks,” Huisman says. “The plan is to build it this summer.”

Another job is to find a manager for the new business, Huisman says. Neither he nor his son plan on being the day to day manager.

“Cabin Coffee requires a manager to be an owner/manager, so that person will have at least a small financial interest in the business,” Huisman explains. “They also provide extensive training for the manager, eight weeks off site, in Mason City, and another two weeks on site after it is open.”

Huisman says there were two things which interested him and helped him decide to take on this project. The first was that he just did not want to see Blue Earth miss out on this opportunity to gain another business.

“I also was very impressed with Brad and Angie Barber, who created Cabin Coffee,” he says. “I liked their whole business model and how they operate. And, how they really help the franchise owners.”

The Barbers opened their first store in Clear Lake, Iowa, on Dec. 6, 2002. Their company slogan is “Just be happy…and have fun.”

There now are Cabin Coffee restaurants in Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

While each place is known as a Cabin Coffee franchise, they are allowed to have their own individual name, as well.

“We decided on the name ‘Giant City Coffee,’ because it identifies with the local area,” Huisman says. “And we have registered that name with the Minnesota Secretary of State.”

All Cabin Coffee stores serve some food as well as coffee. That includes a few breakfast and bakery items and several kinds of signature and specialty sandwiches.

The new Blue Earth location will also have an outside patio area for summertime enjoyment.

“We purchased 5.1 acres of land for this project,” Huisman says. “And another 30 acres of RIM (Reinvest in Minnesota) land came with it. We plan to create trails through the RIM land so people can walk their dogs through it.”

Huisman admits he is pretty excited about this new project he is taking on.

“I guess I just must have needed a little more adventure in my life,” he says with a smile. “It will sure keep me pretty busy for a long time.”