A trio of craft beverage purveyors will be sharing space in Canal Park starting Saturday. Duluth Coffee Company is opening a satellite coffee shop in the Ripple Bar on Lake Superior, which is adjacent to Hoops Brewing in the Waterfront Plaza at 325 S. Lake Ave.
Duluth Coffee Company owner Eric Faust has been looking to find a space in Canal Park for some time. Operating inside the Ripple Bar allows for a creative cohabitation arrangement that makes use of the bar space when it’s otherwise not in use.
The Ripple Bar has been operating within the Hoops Brewing space since March 2018. The businesses are separated by a half wall. Since brewery taproom laws don’t permit taprooms to sell other alcoholic products on site, this clever arrangement enables brewery taproom patrons to sip beer across from friends imbibing in cocktails, cider and wine at the bar.
Ripple owner Maggie Gustafson notes that she and Hoops Brewing were already serving Duluth Coffee Company products, so having Faust bring in additional beverage options in this way just made sense. Plus, since the business owners are “friends who are on same wavelength” Gustafson thinks it will be an easy partnership.
The businesses already have somewhat of a collaborative relationship. Ripple currently has a coffee cocktail and Hoops always has a beer made with Duluth Coffee on tap. Gustafson and Faust anticipate additional future collaborations.
Renovations of the space started May 6. A new bar and equipment were installed as well as prominent signage. Although it’s a satellite, Faust says the shop will be serving up the same offerings as Duluth Coffee Company’s original downtown location. Customers can order a range of espresso drinks like lattes and cappuccinos as well as producer-specific brewed coffee.
While single origin coffees hailing from a specific country or region have become commonplace, single producer coffees drill down even further to one particular farm or estate. According to Faust, Duluth Coffee Company was the first in the state to begin offering producer-specific varieties from farms he’s developed relationships with in Costa Rica and Colombia.
Faust is on a mission to bring such progressive coffee philosophy to a broader audience, including tourists visiting the new location in Canal Park. “It will help instill a love of Duluth when people see our city has the highest pinnacle of coffee available. It’s showing what we’re capable of,” he says.
Besides the clear summer tourist market for coffee in Canal Park, Gustafson say locals and employees who work in the building at Barr Engineering and the hotel have expressed excitement about the new coffee shop.
Because the Downtown Duluth Coffee location is limited in space, the Canal Park location could become a popular workspace for locals as well. Hoops Brewing owner Dave Hoops is also open to the idea of hosting morning meetings in the beer hall.
Along with coffee, the shop will offer baked goods from Great Harvest Bread Company Monday through Thursday and from Zenith Bread Project Friday through Sunday. Duluth Coffee Company has plans to hire two additional staff members to ensure adequate staffing at both its Downtown and Canal Park locations.
The new Duluth Coffee Company location opens at 8 a.m. on June 1. A grand opening with music by Actual Wolf and Friends takes place from 10 a.m. to noon. After the opening day, regular hours will be 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day except Saturday, when it will close at noon.
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