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Coffee, gathering brewing again at Phileo’s

WORTHINGTON -- Women of various ages start trickling in about 7:45 a.m. A man adorned in dress clothes strolls in and accepts a half-hug and shoulder squeeze from one of the ladies. Wooden chairs sliding across the original hardwood floor echo, a...

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Phileo's Manager Debbie Petersen (right) chats with a cofee group Thursday morning at the new coffee shop and eatery in downtown Worthington. (Alyssa Sobotka / The Globe)

WORTHINGTON - Women of various ages start trickling in about 7:45 a.m.

 

A man adorned in dress clothes strolls in and accepts a half-hug and shoulder squeeze from one of the ladies.

 

Wooden chairs sliding across the original hardwood floor echo, as the ladies borrow chairs from a nearby table and position them around one square high-top table to accommodate their group that continues to grow. It’s a tight squeeze, but they make it work so that the dozen or so can visit and sip coffee.

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The Thursday morning scene epitomizes the vision Journey Ministries had for Phileo’s, the new coffee shop and eatery in downtown Worthington that opened its doors Aug. 30.  

 

The revitalized shop at 212 10th St. is open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The shop will soon be open until 5 p.m. weekdays.

 

“We’re realizing we have to be really fast and do it very well,” said Phileo’s Manager Debbie Petersen, adding that customers have been patient during Phileo’s first two weeks of business. “We want our customers to have the very best experience. We only get one shot at a first impression.”

 

Phileo’s, which is housed in the former BenLee’s, features a healthy menu, Petersen said.

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“We have no fried food,” she added. “That’s all part of the identity.”

 

Customers may order dine-in or carry-out soups, salads and sandwiches. The growing menu also features muffins, scones and the famous almond bars, which are all available throughout the day. A kids’ menu is also available.

 

The interior remodel, designed by Katie Hansen of Revive Interiors, was also completed in an intentional way to create Phileo’s identity.

 

The remodeled space features various size tables; booth and sofa seating, some with a fireplace centerpiece; an upstairs reading nook; a meeting room available upon reservation; and a coffee bar overlooking 10th Street, which includes power strips and USB ports. Phileo’s also provides a free wifi connection.

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“People can come in and sit all day - that’s why we have a bottomless cup of coffee on the menu,” Petersen said. “The thing about a coffee shop is that you can come alone and be comfortable.”

 

Phileo’s is Petersen’s fourth time opening a coffee shop. The Slayton woman has managed two coffee shops in Slayton and two in Worthington, including BenLee’s.

 

“I’m like a ping pong ball between Slayton and Worthington,” Petersen joked.

 

She said she’s happy to be back in downtown Worthington, and enjoyed some time visiting with the group of ladies Thursday morning.

 

“It has been like a reunion for me every day” since the coffee shop opened, she said.

 

Phileo’s is owned by Journey Ministries, which also has a space in the downtown location for a 10 a.m. contemporary worship on Sundays. Journey Ministries Pastor Brad Bonnett said the building, which originally housed Montgomery Ward, is by code and design intended for a retail store.

 

With that in mind and the void that the BenLee’s closure left, Bonnett said the church formed a four-member board with the desire to open a community-oriented space.

 

“Phileo’s is Journey’s hug to the community,” he said. “People have really missed the space. When the doors opened, I think there was this sense of relief.”

 

The 15,000-square-foot space offers more than coffee and worship.

 

“The goal is to make all 15 (thousand square-feet) for public use,” Bonnett said.

 

The location also houses Ignite Studio - a yoga, TRX, Barre and pilates studio taught by professional fitness instructor Stacey Kremer - and an overflow dance studio.

 

For the latest information, visit Phileos Coffee on Facebook or call 727-1480.

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