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Cabin Coffee Co. open for business in Jackson

And in keeping with its informal vibe, the coffee shop had a soft opening in September, quietly welcoming coffee-lovers ever since with locally-roasted coffee, espresso drinks, lunches and sweet treats.

Owner Donnie Schoenrock stands behind the counter at the Cabin Coffee Co. in Jackson in October.
Owner Donnie Schoenrock stands behind the counter at the Cabin Coffee in Jackson in October.
Kari Lucin / The Globe
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JACKSON — With its rustic knotty-pine furniture, playlist of country tunes and laid-back atmosphere, Jackson’s Cabin Coffee Co. looks like it came from Minnesota’s north woods by way of a Texas ranch.

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And in keeping with its informal vibe, the coffee shop had a soft opening in September, quietly welcoming coffee-lovers ever since with locally-roasted coffee, espresso drinks, lunches and sweet treats.

Owner Donnie Schoenrock, who also owns Kat’s Hog Heaven in Jackson, said he saw an opportunity in the location just off Interstate 90, at 112 Industrial Parkway, and started looking into coffee franchises.

While Schoenrock was investigating his options, though, then-Jackson Economic Development Coordinator Tom Nelson introduced him to Brad Barber, who founded the first Cabin Coffee in Clear Lake, Iowa, 20 years ago.

“When I met Brad, our conversations were never about the money, which I liked,” Schoenrock said. “Our internal slogan is ‘We serve people, not coffee.’ I was sold.”

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One of the requirements for Cabin franchisees is civic involvement and benefiting the community, Schoenrock said, and community involvement has always been a priority for him as well, so it was a good fit.

“In the future, we want this to be a community business, not just a coffee shop,” Schoenrock said.

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That doesn’t mean the coffee is an afterthought, however. All the coffee the store makes is roasted onsite, and there’s never coffee in the store that’s been roasted more than 14 days prior, when, according to Schoenrock, it’s at its most flavorful and robust. Depending on when a customer arrives, in fact, the coffee might have been roasted as little as 30 minutes ago.

“You are getting the freshest cup of coffee,” he said.

There are a variety of coffees to choose from too, from light roasts, with their higher caffeine content to dark roasts, with their more robust flavor.

“We want to educate people in coffee,” Schoenrock explained. “We really just want to show people that coffee is so fun. People love it, and you can drink it in so many ways.”

For example, there are brewed coffees, nitro and cold press coffees, as well as hot, cold and frappe espresso drinks and even Red Bull infusions and smoothies.

Cabin Coffee also sells what it calls “white coffee,” which comes from a special bean and is roasted in a specific way. With its peanut butter-like scent, it pairs well with white chocolate, caramel or vanilla, and has proven extremely popular.

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The coffee shop has 16 employees, most of whom are part-time and many of whom are high-school-aged. Schoenrock said he hopes to help the younger students learn how to be good employees and work together as a team.

“The feedback’s been great,” Schoenrock said. “You’re going to pay a little more for a cup of coffee here, but you’re paying for a far, far superior coffee. Our coffee is so good it is worth every penny.”

So far, business has been good at the Cabin.

“I really love being, most likely, the first person someone sees in the morning, just trying to positively impact somebody’s day,” Schoenrock said.

Cabin Coffee is open from 5:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

Email: klucin@dglobe.com
Phone: (507) 376-7319
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