Waking up in Central Market
If shoppers in Central Market seem a little perkier than normal lately, it's because a new coffee shop has just opened in the store.
Nash's Fresh Brewed Coffee and Tea is now serving up energy one cup at a time, and according to coffee shop manager Carol Werner, it's ground breaking for Nash Finch.
"This is the original Nash Finch coffee shop," said Werner, who explained that the company has been making gourmet coffee for over 100 years, but this is the first time they've chosen to open up an actual coffee-serving shop.
"So we're like the guinea pig, and if this takes off we're going to put them in our other Central Market stores," said Werner, adding that the venture still has shop managers and Nash employees hammering out details and learning as they go.
You wouldn't know that looking up at the menu board that boasts 25 different roasts, teas and hot chocolates, but Werner, who has years of experience managing a coffee shop, says the creativity has just begun.
"We have the basic Nash recipes up here now," said Werner, "but what we're going to do is put our customers' favorite recipes on there too, so we can have our ice cream blended coffee drinks like snicker doodle or turtle...they're not listed, but we can make anything."
In fact, Werner says what they do in the Detroit Lakes Central Market location may have a big impact on how possible other Nash coffee shops will operate.
"We hope to have a big book of different, popular recipes ready for them for when they open other shops," said Werner, who adds that although gourmet coffees have gotten a bad rap for being packed full of calories, it doesn't have to be that way.
"We have a lot of sugar free syrups, and we have skim milk we can use," said Werner, "but the beans are ground fresh in the morning, so it's whatever people want from there."
Werner says that fresh-ground coffee comes from Nash's trademark beans, which are harvested from South America.
A variety of the Nash Brothers coffees in the bag are also being sold in the shop.
The coffee shop has been open for three weeks now, but Werner says it still feels like the grand opening every day.
"People are just learning about us and where we are and what we are exactly."
With five coffee pub tables set up there, the nook is now strongly resembling what you'd see in any other stand-alone coffee shop -- complete with wi-fi capabilities.
"Come in and get a password, and you can sit right here at the tables and work on what you want to work on," said Werner.
And for those busy shoppers on the go, Werner says Central Market is looking at the possibility of getting cup holders for the carts and some Nash mugs.
"Things are just sort of in the works and we're trying ideas as we go," said Werner "We just had our hunter's special where hunters bring in their thermos and we fill it up for a buck, so we're having a lot of fun with it."
That 'fun' is even injected into their punch card system, as the right answer to a daily trivia question posted on their board will get you an extra stamp.
"It's kind of funny because we've had people come in and get coffee just for the trivia," said Werner.
In addition to a free condiment bar, the coffee shop also sells some tempting treats straight from the Central Market Bakery.
"We've got croissants and scones -- the caramel croissants are really good," said Werner, looking over the sweet, glass display. "We've also got brownies, and we're trying some bagels out today."
Although Warner says hours of operation could be changing with the seasons, right now they're open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.