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Cabin Coffee officially opens in BE

First day was March 29, grand opening date is set for April 21

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | Apr 6, 2021

Cabin Coffee Company of Clear Lake, Iowa, CEO Angie Barber, Blue Earth Cabin Coffee owner John Huisman and the new store’s manager, Jasmin Sahr, at the first day of being open.

Almost exactly one year ago, the news of a Cabin Coffee franchise being built in Blue Earth was announced on the front page of the Faribault County Register.

Now, a year later, the Cabin Coffee restaurant opened up this past Monday, March 29. They are open 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

The new business is owned by John Huisman and his son, Quinn Huisman and their newly formed company called Giant City Coffee, LLC.

Huisman explains how his involvement with Cabin Coffee came to be.

“I had heard that the Cabin Coffee Company owners, Brad and Angie Barber of Clear Lake, Iowa, wanted to try and have a Cabin Coffee franchise in Blue Earth,” Huisman says. “So I tried to help them find someone locally.”

Eventually Huisman decided he would take on the franchise himself. He applied for the franchise, which was granted in November of 2019, and purchased the land north of the Pizza Hut along State Highway 169 in Blue Earth.

The groundbreaking for the new restaurant was held back in the middle of last September. Construction started then and lasted throughout the winter. Bruellman Construction of Frost was the general contractor.

There was a special by-invitation-only soft opening on Saturday, March 27, before the start of regular business hours last Monday, March 29.

A grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony is being planned for April 21.

So far, business has been pretty steady at the new business during its first week of being open.

“We have been very busy these first few days,” says manager Jasmin Sahr. “And everything has been going smoothly.”

That is due to the extensive training of employees, Sahr explained.

“Cabin Coffee does an excellent job of training employees,” she says. “I did eight weeks of training in Clear Lake and then here in Blue Earth, starting last Oct. 1, with a week off for Thanksgiving and two weeks at Christmas.”

All employees also were trained for two full weeks before the opening. The new business has 14 employees, with four of them working full time.

“That includes six high school students,” Huisman says. “We really could not operate without them.”

There are eight employees filling out the shifts each day, although not all of them work all day each day.

There is a lot of work to be done at a Cabin Coffee, Huisman and Sahr explain, because of what all is offered at the restaurant.

“We roast all of our coffee beans on site,” Sahr says. “That is what sets Cabin Coffee apart from other places. And we roast coffee every day.”

And no roasted coffee is kept after a two week period.

Coffee is sold by the cup and the roasted and ground coffee is also sold by the half-pound and one-pound bags to take home.

They also fill their own K-cups for use in Keurig style coffee makers.

“We have 13 coffees on hand each day,” Sahr explains. “And you can call ahead to special order any of our coffees and we will make it up for you for pickup.”

Coffee is not the only drink sold at Cabin Coffee. Besides the usual lattes, cappuccinos, espressos and mochas, there are drinks such as hot chocolate, hot tea and apple cider.

There are also cold drinks like sodas, iced teas, lemonade, smoothies and frappes.

And then there is Cabin Coffee signature drink – white coffee.

“It is a great drink for those people who say they don’t like coffee,” explains Cabin Coffee Company of Clear Lake co-owner and CEO Angie Barber. “It doesn’t taste like coffee, but has a sweet, nutty, flavor.”

It is also highly caffeinated, so it is perfect for those who want some caffeine but don’t want to drink coffee.

“After people try it once, they really like it,” Barber says. “Then we can tell them, ‘see, you actually do like coffee.'”

She adds that Cabin Coffee has so many drink choices that everyone can find at least one they like.

But, the new restaurant also has plenty of food options as well.

There are breakfast sandwiches, wraps, bagels, muffins and lots more. They have a variety of lunch sandwiches and soups.

The new Cabin Coffee also has a meeting room which has a 24 person capacity. There is no charge for groups to use the meeting, room, but they need to reserve it ahead of time.

There is also a drive-up window and an outdoor seating area for when the weather gets nice.

“We are also going to create some walking paths through the 33 acres of prairie grass that surrounds the new Cabin Coffee site,” Huesman says. “It will be mowed paths for people to walk, or take their dogs on a walk.”

One item installed just because of COVID-19 is a sink in the hallway near the restrooms for customers to be able to use without having to go into the restrooms.