With the opening of the new Paddle On Coffee Shop & Maker Emporium on main street in Lanesboro, Minn., area residents have some unique choices of not only several types of beverages, but so much more.
Owners Ryan and Allie Palmer, who also own Root River Inn & Suites in Lanesboro, approached the former owners of the building on May 15, closed on the purchase of the building on June 12, and held a soft opening for their new business, Paddle On Coffee & Maker Emporium, on June 30. Having such a quick turnaround time is pretty rare but the Palmers realized a good opportunity when they saw one.
The previous owners, Mike and Carly McNeilus, had completed renovations on the building, including a wall of impressive photos that Mike, an avid fisherman, had taken of many types of fish caught by him and found in the Root River. The Palmers decided right away that the wall of photos needed to stay.
Why a coffee shop? “We have been going to coffee shops since we were dating, and we knew the town needed one,” notes Ryan.
“And we have a vested interest with having guests here and wanting that to be part of their experience,” comments Allie. “It’s also a place where community connects, a place where conversation happens, dreams are started, and relationships go deeper; by having that element in our community, it’s an asset that we wanted to create” for the community as well as tourists and visitors she continued.
The name Paddle On comes from the couple’s love of kayaking. “It’s one of the things that brought us to this region,” states Allie. “We had two tandem kayaks when our kids were little so we could go out with them,” she adds.
The Palmers have created a cozy and comfortable space for customers to feel at home and take a break from their busy lives. “People really like the vibe in here; they like the feeling, the warmth, and the décor,” explains Allie.
“And the brightness,” adds Ryan, noting that many coffee shops tend to be dimly lit, while theirs is bright and full of plants.
It was also important for them to have “comfy chairs” at Paddle On Coffee & Maker Emporium. “When we walk into a coffee shop, we always look for the comfy chairs,” says Ryan.
Specialty drinks include coffee, frappes, lattes, smoothies, teas and more. A special “tea experience” called Blooming Tea, is available as well. When you put in hot water in a glass teapot it starts unfolding a floral arrangement of tea herbs.
Breakfast items include two types of breakfast sandwiches along with other options. Flatbread pizzas may be just the lunch you’re looking for and your choices include a brisket flatbread pizza or a sausage gravy pizza.
To leave you with that warm and fuzzy feeling this winter stop in and have a bowl of chili for lunch that comes with a side of buttery cornbread. Or maybe a hot ham and cheese on a Hawaiin roll
will fit the bill.
When there is no time for a sit down meal, Paddle On Coffee offers grab and go items to satisfy your hunger.
“We are adding a little bit here and there,” says Allie, noting that new cookies will be coming soon.
The Maker’s Emporium element in the business is very interesting and eclectic. “We find artists and figure out what fits in the space,” states Ryan. Almost all of the artists live locally.
“The whole place is a grand experiment,” states Allie, saying as they find out what people are interested in and what sells, they will adjust their inventory as needed.
Paddle On Coffee also hosts Toddler Tuesdays when the back room is set up with a couple large items like a child’s play kitchen, a farm set a rocket tent and more. “Obviously it’s for the kids, but it’s also for the moms, you know, a place to go to talk to adults,” while the kids stay busy.
The back room is also open for rental. The rental policy is Open Door and Closed Door. Open Door means anyone can join you, and then there is no cost. The Closed Door policy is a private rental and includes a rental fee.
There is also a Mayoral Suite upstairs of Paddle On Coffee. As they already a hotel in town, it made sense to remodel the outdated space and utilize it as another hotel room.
“This building was built in 1870 and turning it into something that’s really fresh and inviting and bright for our guests to have a good experience in our beautiful, historic downtown, was a wonderful opportunity,” states Allie.
“Not only was the building built in 1870, it was built by the first mayor of Lanesboro,” shares Ryan. “The reason he came to town was to build this building as a dry goods store and then 18 years later he built the hotel that we own, as his house.”
“So it’s named the Mayoral Suite in Robert Greer’s honor,” says Allie.
Paddle On Coffee & Make Emporium will be a nice place to warm up and have a friendly conversation during the winter. The variable is how many people will come out on a cold winter evening, which will be a deciding factor in the hours they will be open this winter.
They are trying to reach out to common bond groups that would like to meet at Paddle On Coffee this winter so they are able to stay open as many hours as possible. There is a spot on their website, paddleoncoffee.com, to sign up for group activities. There are groups listed on the website, and a form to fill out if you are interested.
“For the winter, we will only be open if the locals decide that this is their place to do things,” explains Allie, saying they need to have enough business to justify staffing during the winter months.
Check the website, which is updated often, for business hours through the winter. Let’s all make a point to stop in to Paddle On Coffee & Maker Emporium and enjoy a hot beverage on these upcoming cold winter days.