When Shannon and her daughter Kate sought out a mother-daughter activity, they dodged the typical scrapbooking and quilting and instead opened Coffee Caboose. Their creation is a charming café specializing in espresso drinks, hot dogs loaded with toppings, and housemade baked goods. Often seen manning the counter or flapping limbs to create angels in coffee-grounds piles, they ensure the quality of their product by involving themselves in all aspects of their business. Each morning, Shannon and Kate showcase this dedication by serving up fresh-baked cinnamon rolls and steaming cups of coffee to commuters en route to the Northstar Train.
When visitors walk into Café Donuts at 5 a.m., chances are they’re still waking up or sleepwalking in their pajamas. Once through the doorway, they immediately regain consciousness as they’re greeted by an aromatic uppercut of fresh donuts and percolating coffee. With newfound alertness, they behold a menu of 40 standard donut varieties alongside specialty pastries such as apple fritters and éclairs. Behind the counter, baristas steam milk and grind beans for a variety of hot or iced espresso drinks. The café’s staff also keep sweet teeth from troubling neighbors for a cup of sugar with more than 25 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream from KaledioScoops.
At least twice a week, the aroma of freshly fired coffee beans fills the air of The Bean Coffee & Wine Cafe as Dan, the café's owner, roasts his house blends. By night, Dan turns his attention to curating the café’s spirit-raising selection of microbrews, specialty beers, and 25 imported wines. Constantly evolving around the season and available local ingredients, the menu includes wraps with deli-sliced turkey, hot sandwiches such as the "Red-Feathered Pig," a gourmet grilled chicken sandwich with homemade cranberry/cherry mayo, and club sandwiches on the house's multigrain bread. Via a drive-thru window, staffers supply nonalcoholic drinks and eats to on-the-go guests and visitors testing their homemade hovercrafts.
At Cookies Cupcakes & Delights, head baker Colleen and her family keep ovens filled with a vast selection baked goodies, from their famous chocolate chip cookies to flavorful cupcakes. She creates her cupcakes in standard flavors, such as cherry and strawberry, and unique ones, such as the marshmallow-laden smores cupcake and the hot-fudge-and-cherry-topped sundae cupcake. To appease party hosts or those with food allergies, Colleen can also craft custom cakes shaped with edible fondant.
An extension of the Thai and Indian cuisine cooking classes and Community Supported Agriculture programs of Ethnic Foods Co., Collage Global Cafe introduces tastebuds to new flavors and cultures with a smorgasbord of pizzas, soups, chicken dinners, and curries. Like Midwestern fall weather, the menu changes each day, with culinary designer Kavita Mehta selecting fresh produce from local markets to whip up dishes such as savory-sweet pad thai noodles, peppery Afghani eggplant, or whole-wheat pizzas topped with chicken satay and basil.
Smooth Nutrition whips up healthy, on-the-go meals that, on average, pack more than 20 grams of protein and weigh in at less than 230 calories. The menu features nearly 50 flavors divided into categories, including "Fruit Passion" and "Chocolate Lover," as well as vitalizing herbal teas and energy drinks. Aside from its wholesome elixirs, Smooth Nutrition further helps its customers achieve their wellness goals by offering Zumba classes twice per week.