by ADAM GRUENEWALD
A new venture is hoping to revitalize a downtown space and jump start everyone’s day.
Jacob Lindeen and his uncle, Allen Schultz, opened Norah Bean Coffee and Café, a restaurant with coffee, baked goods as well as sandwiches and soups.
Both Lindeen, 28, and Allen, 51, are veterans of the food industry, having worked together as kitchen manager and line cook at the American Legion in Bloomington.
“We always used to talk about opening up a café or a coffee house,” said Lindeen. “As time went by we did our own things.”
In addition to several other jobs, Allen was most recently the house manager for Progress Valley and Lindeen was an assistant manager for FedEx.
They both are from the Burnsville area but have had relatives live in the area and Lindeen’s mom and Schultz’ sister, DeAnne Allard, is one of the three co-owners of the neighboring The Olde Mill House Antique & Gift Shoppe.
“My mom had got us down here to take a look at the place,” said Lindeen. “I came down and when I looked at, I knew this was it. This was something we had to do.”
As co-owners the pair are eager to get their business started, and understand the risks involved.
“There’s always going to be some hesitation be it nerves or whatever when you start a new venture,” said Schultz. “Put everything you have into it. If you don’t take some chances, you’re not going to make it.”
They are fully invested too, both having moved to town with Lindeen bringing his family too, including his wife Joani, who works in the shop, and their children Caleb, 5, and Norah, 2.
It was Norah who inspired the name of the business, Lindeen said.
“We were sitting over lunch a couple of months ago and it kind of came to us,” said Lindeen. “We were thinking about it and Norah Bean came from that.”
The menu includes breakfast items such as grilled sandwiches, eggs and toast, lunch paninis and deli sandwiches and bakery items.
“We always wanted to have a light lunch menu and breakfast menu,” said Schultz. “Obviously we can’t do too much because of the space.”
The menu is specialized to with Joani baking up chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies while Schultz is in charge of soup.
“None of our soups come out of the bag,” said Schultz, adding they have had creamy potato, potato with bacon, French onion, tomato basil and chicken vegetable and vegetable. “We use fresh, homemade chopped vegetables… The biggest thing is getting people in the door to try it. If people try it, I’m confident they’ll come back.”
And then there is the fair trade coffee provided by Specialty Java out of Waconia, Lindeen’s focus.
“Ever since I was a young teenager I’ve been drinking coffee,” he said. “If you talk to any of my friends, the one thing they all knew about me was I like coffee. When we were first starting to do this, we were really quiet about it. When I told them, they couldn’t believe it but at the same time they could.”
Since its opening on March 13, they said the reception has been good and customers are excited to have a coffee shop in town.
“Our menu is simple but we do make a good cup of coffee with good food at a great price,” said Schultz. “I think customers, when they come here and sit down and eat and have a coffee and enjoy the ambiance, they leave here happy and that’s our goal. That’s our goal that they leave here happy and come back.”
Norah Bean Coffee and Café is located at 18 Third Ave. SE in NYA and is open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
In addition to daily specials, they do have coffee beans for sale and for the month of April, a 10 percent discount will be offered on coffee and breakfast sandwiches to customers from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. who mention this article.
For more information, visit them on Facebook, visit www.norahbean.com or contact (952) 467-2006.
Contact Adam Gruenewald at [email protected]