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Caribou Coffee has second-best opener in chain

The Caribou Coffee shop at the Downtown Crossing in Detroit Lakes offers a drive-thru and indoor seating. NATHAN BOWE/DL NEWSPAPERS

Caribou Coffee is a hit in Detroit Lakes.

Store manager Jodi Jendrysik said the Caribou Coffee store that recently opened in the new downtown development had the second-highest opening week sales of any store in the chain.

The only store with higher opening sales is located in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, she said.

Not bad for Detroit Lakes, considering there are almost 500 company-owned Caribou Coffee stores in 16 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in several countries outside the United States.

The company is headquartered in Minneapolis and has more than 6,000 employees.

Twenty-one of those full- and part-time employees are working at the Detroit Lakes store.

And they aren’t just cranking out specialized lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, espressos, and cold press iced coffee.

“It’s been crazy busy,” Jendrysik said, “and there’s been such a high volume of people wanting breakfast sandwiches and specialty items, not just coffee items.”

The store offers bakery sweets, quiche, three varieties of breakfast sandwiches, and three types of oatmeal, as well as regular sandwiches, regular coffees and a “Northern Light” option for lower calorie coffee drinks.

It also offers a variety of teas, coolers and smoothies, for adults and children.

The drive-through has been popular, but there is also plenty of indoor seating, whether you want to ease back and read the newspaper or power up your tablet or laptop — or maybe just visit with friends.

“The whole purpose of Caribou is to make connections with customers,” Jendrysik said. “We do church, business, work meetings — it’s been a really nice mixture.”

Caribou sells “canteens” of coffee that serve eight, which are ‘perfect for a business meeting,” Jendrysik said.

Call in advance or be prepared to wait 10 minutes while the canteen of coffee is brewed, she said.

There is also seasonal food and drink. Even though it’s been too hot to feel like autumn, it’s pumpkin season right now at Caribou Coffee, with items like pumpkin mocha,  latte and chai.

“Our pumpkin bread is awesome — it’s better than mine,” Jendrysik confides.

The store also sells packaged coffee and tea, mugs, travel mugs, greeting cards and knick-knacks.