Celebrating with Coffee
There’s something about reaching double digits that deserves a celebration.
The owners of Mantorville’s County Seat Coffeehouse will celebrate its 10th anniversary with an open house from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 15. Free coffee and cake will be offered as thanks to their loyal customers.
The co-owners, Kristin Alexander and Adrianne McNiff, met through their daughters, who were school classmates, but realized they had similar dreams by getting to know each other at church.
“I had been wanting to do it for a while, and she was looking for a change and wanted to start her own business too,” Alexander said.
She said getting their coffeehouse started included many challenges, such as nding the right location, choosing a concept and menu items, and resolving their financing.
“It was a whirlwind the first few months,” Alexander said.
McNiff said the women learned a lot about running a restaurant on the fly.
They quickly realized that they needed to increase their food items, so they added a full breakfast to their menu.
Alexander said they didn’t how much they were undertaking when they started the business.
“We came in naive, which was probably a good thing because it’s a lot of work,” she said. “The restaurant business is tough. You have to stick to what you do really good and not try to be everything to everybody. We know what our niché is.”
She said she has learned to take things day by day to avoid being overwhelmed by managerial tasks such as schedule, payroll, taxes and ordering, in addition to cooking. McNiff said that, when she’s not busy with managerial tasks, she enjoys getting to know her customers, expecially in such a close-knit community. “All the different people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. We’ve made a lot of new friends along the way,” she said.
"We've also kept the small-town feel that I always wanted." Alexander said she would describe her coffeehouse as homey, with an eclectic mix of friendly staff, good food, and good coffee.
“I feel like we’ve created a really nice niché for this town, something that they didn’t have before, so we feel good about that,” she said.
The coffeehouse caters and makes box lunches for clients including McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing, Mayo Family Clinic in Kasson, and the Dodge County Courthouse.
McNi said the County Seat usually serves about 80 orders each day, to about a couple hundred customers in Mantorville.
Alexander said the chicken panini and baked oatmeal are some of the most popular food items, while peanut butter bliss is their signature blend of coffee.
Customers seem to enjoy every kind of pie they offer.
McNiff said the restaurant doesn’t have any big changes on the horizon.
“If it’s not broke, don’t try to fix it,” she said.
Alexander said she and her friend are happy to be here, and happy to have everyone who has stopped by as customers.