The Lantern Coffeehouse opens in Sibley
SIBLEY, Iowa -- Cravers of gourmet coffee now need to look no further than this northwest Iowa community to satisfy their big-city tastes.
Adam and Beth Grimm opened The Lantern Coffeehouse and Roastery on Friday on downtown's Main Street. For the couple, the new business is a labor of love in many ways.
"I suppose the whole process started in mid-February," explained Beth, a Sibley-Ocheyedan High School graduate. "We actually had lots of investors that bought the building for us. ... They thought it was a great idea because they're trying to liven up downtown.
"We've done a lot of work," Beth continued. "We've actually been in the building since April 30 -- that was the close day."
Walls that now feature exposed brick had been covered with plaster and wallpaper; in fact, "anything you can think of was on it," Beth said.
The floor had a glued-on carpet that was removed and refinished to its original dark-stained hardwood state. A drop ceiling was removed to reveal tin, which adds additional character to the rustic-feeling space. And, the apartment upstairs -- where the Grimms now live -- required some improvements as well.
In addition, substantial plumbing and electrical work had to be done. A friend of the Grimms, Aaron Clevering of Sioux Center, Iowa, "generously donated his time for the last three months," Beth said.
The Lantern will be open Monday through Saturday and will occasionally feature entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. Music from local artists and even drama on the small stage is planned.
The coffee, however, will be the highlight of the new business.
"We will roast our own beans here," said Beth, "though we're waiting for actual roaster right now. We'll be roasting Fair Trade organic beans harvested from around the world. ... In the meantime, we're using Fair Trade coffee beans from Peace Coffee in Minneapolis."
The Grimms know a thing or two about the Minneapolis coffee scene, as they managed a Dunn Brothers site there for three years. Now, with their own enterprise, they'll have their own top-shelf blends, while also retailing light lunch fare such as paninis, salads and soups (in winter) as well as scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls and more. Smoothies and frappes will also be available for purchase, as will Teavana tea (a popular gourmet tea).
One unique aspect of The Lantern is its drip stand, under which customers can place their cups and enjoy the freshest coffee possible. The Grimms also hope their coffee beans go beyond the walls of their downtown Sibley location.
"A main part of this endeavor is supplying cafés around the area with our coffee," said Adam, who is from Sioux Center. He and his wife met while attending Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.
For the Grimms, opening The Lantern is the culmination of a dream.
"We wanted to open a coffee shop, but not necessarily in Sibley," Beth said. "Then my mom got sick a year ago and we came here, but she's doing great now. We're here now, and this is what we're going to do."
The Grimms, for now, plan to open for business by 7:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and close at 8 p.m., with later hours on Friday and Saturday nights.