April 13, 2024

Coffee Ordering

Devoted To Marvelous Coffee

Bear Paw Coffee brings a new brew to the Byron community – Post Bulletin

Bear Paw Coffee brings a new brew to the Byron community – Post Bulletin

BYRON — Bear Paw Coffee may be small in dimension, but the little shop more than makes up for it with the size of its menu.

Celebrated their one year anniversary in May, owners Angie Clark and her husband, Gerritt, wanted to do something nice for the community where they’ve made their “forever home” after having grown up in Rochester.

The couple saw a need for a local coffee shop and decided to pursue this dream of owning a business. They both come from families with several business owners in them and knew it was possible for them to accomplish.

“It was important to us to not reinvent the wheel, so we wanted to bring something to the community that didn’t already exist,” Clark said. “There are certainly other businesses that serve coffee and bakery, and we love all of our neighboring businesses that are similar or different to us. But we wanted to stand out and meet needs that aren’t met by other businesses right now.”

Bear Paw Coffee has a different layout than most of the other cafes in the area. The duo wanted to build their own building from the ground up to have full control over the design. Bear Paw Coffee is only 15-by-30 feet in dimension, meaning there is no lobby inside. Instead, Bear Paw opted for a double drive thru, one on each side of the building, to allow customers to be served more quickly. They also have a patio area set up for people to sit and enjoy their drinks.

The limited space means the inside has to be efficient. The baristas have stations within the building that optimizes functionality and storage space.

“Our communication is really great,” said Clark. “I think that communication is the biggest key especially in a shop so small where it gets very, very busy. Everybody knows their assigned roles, yet they’re very observant of what their team members need help with.”

Bear Paw Coffee has a smaller staff to accommodate the smaller building. This allows the staff to know regulars on a more personal level.

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Shae Hageman stamps the coffee sleeves with the cafe’s logo on Thursday, June 8, 2023, at Bear Paw Coffee in Byron. “I’ve worked at Carribou and Moka in Rochester, and I prefer this more,” says Hageman. “I like having regulars and knowing their drinks.

Daniel Jacobi II / Post Bulletin

“It’s a very small shop,” said Clark. “So when the windows open and the customer pulls up to the drive thru, they can see and hear everything that’s going on and the camaraderie between our staff members and the energy is always so high.”

Clark is happy with the staff she has chosen and the partnerships she has made. She currently takes a small supply of drinks to Garten Marketplatz on Saturdays to serve. She also gets her bakery items from Roasted Bliss in Rochester. The coffee shop recently expanded its gluten-free items with the addition of gluten-free cookies.

In addition to the new bakery items, the drink menu rotates seasonally. The menu was handpicked by Clark and her staff. It was important for them to know what the community was interested in.

“We wanted a large and versatile menu,” said Clark. “So we wanted to be able to meet the needs of a larger market, yet not keep it too complicated. So I think we started by doing a lot of community surveying when we were starting to build and so we asked people what they wanted to see.”

Active on social media, Bear Paw Coffee posts photos and videos of featured drinks and bakery items. The shop also used social media to name the Bear Paw mascot, Brewtus. Brewtus is the bear on their building and he was made to light up at night, illuminating the building with LED lights.

As her business percolates into its second year, Clark is always looking for ways to expand her little coffee shop’s reach in the community.

“We get so much enjoyment from what we do every day, and I think customers will see that as they come through as far as the energy and the excitement of the staff,” said Clark.

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Shae Hageman brings rubber floor mats back inside the coffee shop after cleaning them and the floor inside on Thursday, June 8, 2023, at Bear Paw Coffee in Byron.

Daniel Jacobi II / Post Bulletin

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Payyton Dee pours hot green tea into a cup while making a raspberry lemonade green tea refresher at Bear Paw Coffee in Byron.

Daniel Jacobi II / Post Bulletin

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Bear Paw Coffee lights up at night in Byron.

Daniel Jacobi II / Post Bulletin

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Shae Hageman pours a smoothie mix into a blender on Thursday, June 8, 2023, at Bear Paw Cafe in Byron. Hageman has been working at the cafe for roughly six months.

Daniel Jacobi II / Post Bulletin

Sara Guymon

Sara Guymon is a Post Bulletin business reporter. Guymon grew up in New Ulm, Minnesota. She graduated from New Ulm Public High School and went on to attend college at the University of Minnesota Duluth. While at UMD, Guymon pursued a major in journalism and a double minor in photography and international studies. Prior to coming to the Post Bulletin, she worked as a staff writer for the Brainerd Dispatch. There she covered the City of Baxter and business.