Posts tagged Coffee
Alakef plans first retail location

A local coffee company is planning their first retail store location marking a major foot step in the growth of the company and their brand presence.

Alakef Coffee Roasters will open a new kiosk called the "Alakef Cup" inside the Super One Foods location at the Kenwood Shopping Center in Duluth come this summer. The location will fill 420 square feet of space that formerly was a children's play area. The space will feature a few tables and chairs but will be largely built for the customer "on the go".

A variety of their Alakef Coffees, which are made with their fair trade and organic beans that are roasted right here in Duluth, will be offered at the kiosk. The space will also feature foods by some of the areas best local restaurants such as Duluth Grill and Amazing Grace. Of course there will also be other coffeehouse favorites such as lattes, mochas, and smoothies. 

Above: Progress on the new Alakef Coffee Roasters kiosk space at Super One Foods in the Kenwood Shopping Center

The Duluth News Tribune wrote on the matter today along with a controversy surrounding the new kiosk as neighboring Perk Place Coffeehouse is said to have exclusive coffeehouse rights to the shopping center. We'd like to focus our efforts shedding some light on the success of another local family run business that is thriving. There's one thing that's for sure in this world and that is that people absolutely love coffee so in our eyes the more the better.

Alakef Coffee Roasters began in the early 1980s and was born out of "a passion for coffee and [the] search for the "perfect cup" of coffee according to their website. Daughter Alyza Bohbot (pronounced like "rowboat" but with a B) took over the family business in January. Her parents Nessim and Deborah ran Alakef for the 25 years prior laying the foundation for what has become an extremely successful business.

"Retail has actually been something that we as a company have been thinking about for years" owner Alyza Bohbot stated. Bohbot's background is in retail management and breaking into the retail world was a direction in which she had been wanting to take the company in for quite some time.

Alakef's success is attributed to their care for the coffee beans in which they roast . The company makes sure that before any coffee is actually purchased that it has been sampled by everyone on their staff. 

Above: Alakef Coffee Roasters headquarters and roasting facility on Superior Street in Duluth.

Focusing on the purchasing of "quality organic, shade-grown and certified Rainforest Alliance or Fair Trade" coffees Alakef has found great success within the coffee market. The company services other businesses at wholesale cost meaning their coffee is served at numerous coffeehouses within the Midwest along with being sold at a number of shops and retail locations like local grocers Cub Foods and Super One Foods.

Alakef has stated that if the kiosk store does well (which we whole heartedly believe it will) that the company would be interested in opening additional retail outlets with one possibility being at their corporate headquarters and coffee roasting facility on Superior Street in Duluth.

We here at CDINDULUTH absolutely love Alakef's coffee and couldn't be more excited for them as they open their first retail location. It's great to see that another local Duluth business is successful and thriving, something that we truly believe Duluthians can be proud of.

 
Dunkin' Donuts selects Central Entrance for first location

Yes, you did just read that headline stating that Dunkin' Donuts has actually established the location for their very first location in the Northland and potentially only the SECOND location in the entire state of Minnesota. Your donut and fresh coffee deprived eyes have not decided you and yes, you're right... you should feel proud right now to be a Duluthian. Let's all just take a moment to gather our excitement and prepare to read further.

Plans were presented recently to the Duluth Planning Commission by Land and Lease Development for a new 2,450 square foot free standing Dunkin' Donuts location to be constructed at 104 West Central Entrance. That site currently is home to Warehouse Liquor which has been open for 20+ years in that same location. This particular Dunkin' Donuts location is unique in the fact that it will feature a drive thru which is guaranteed to be successful in Northern Minnesota especially during those winter months. 

Citizens of Duluth this is the moment where you should feel quite proud to call yourself a Duluthian as this will be the FIRST not only free standing Dunkin' Donuts location in the state but also the FIRST to feature a drive thru within the state. Now that is simply luxury at it's finest. 

Above:  Site aerial of the planned Dunkin' Donuts location (outlined in yellow) at 104 West Central Entrance.  (Image provided by the Duluth Planning Commission).

Above: Site aerial of the planned Dunkin' Donuts location (outlined in yellow) at 104 West Central Entrance. (Image provided by the Duluth Planning Commission).

Now lets get down to those niddy and gritty details. Currently Land and Lease Development is looking to have the alley that abuts this site vacated in order to allow more parking. They feel it is necessary for additional parking to be on site as this first location is expected to be very successful due in part to its location within the heart of Duluth on one of the busiest corridors in the area. The minimum number of parking spaces allowed for the Dunkin' Donuts based on the building square footage would be 12 with a possible 50% expansion to 17 total spaces. Land and Lease Development would like to include 22 spots on site and would need the adjacent alley vacated in order to do so. The alley would however not be entirely closed off and would still have access through the Dunkin' Donuts site to Central Entrance.

While the site itself has enough parking to meet the minimum requirements set forth by the city of Duluth the developers are still looking to include more as area fast food chains such as McDonald's, Burger King, and Subway have almost twice as much parking as technically needed. The developers fear that the success of the business will cause customers to park in nearby business parking lots as there will not be enough parking on site for all Dunkin' Donuts customers. A formal plan has not yet been presented for the specific details of the building itself but is expected to be within the next month. 

Above:  Dunkin' Donuts prototype design.  (Image proved by Dunkin' Donuts).

Above: Dunkin' Donuts prototype design. (Image proved by Dunkin' Donuts).

Above:  Site plan showing the exact location of the planned Dunkin' Donuts at 104 West Central Entrance  (Image provided by Duluth Planning Commission)

Above: Site plan showing the exact location of the planned Dunkin' Donuts at 104 West Central Entrance (Image provided by Duluth Planning Commission)

It doesn't sound like there should be any hiccups or issues regarding this development sailing through the planning commission after alterations are made regarding the parking if the developers choose to do so. If all goes according to plan we could see construction start this winter with an opening in late spring or summer as these buildings tend to go up quite quickly.

We're working on getting you more details and will of course have the plans for the building itself as soon as we can get our development crazed fingers on them. We'll also have news on Warehouse Liquors plans for the future next week too! Until then, check back to CDINDULUTH for all the latest in development news in the Twin Ports. 

Check out our previous post on Dunkin' Donuts expansion into Duluth and Superior. We've also posted about Dunkin' Donuts plans to expand in the Northland which you check out here.