Deerfield Coffeehouse

Joe Howard and Teresa Pelletier have set the grand opening of their Deerfield Coffeehouse, 50 N. Main St., for Saturday, April 13. Shown with Howard and Pelletier are five of their children (from left) Indie, Parker, Cash, Karma and Ria. Not shown is the couple’s oldest son, Otter.

There will be good coffee, of course.

And locally-produced food.

But as Teresa Pelletier and Joe Howard one recent day scanned their – almost – ready to open Deerfield Coffeehouse, one word kept surfacing.

Community.

As in, all the people who have helped them cross the finish line since their original grand opening date came and went last August.

And all their customers to come.

“This shop belongs to the Deerfield community; we want it to feel like an extension of everyone’s home,” Pelletier said as she sunk into a chair before what she and Howard characterize as a generous gift of time from local resident Peter Wetzel – a new large stone fireplace rising in the center of the space.

Sitting nearby, ready to be hung on the more than century-old building’s exterior, was a large round metal sign imprinted with the coffeehouse’s logo. It was crafted by Deerfield High School student Cayden Erickson and metals teacher Nick Brattlie and painted at Truckstar Collision Center a block away on West Nelson Street.

Howard and Pelletier can go on at length with stories of assistance this year from friends and acquaintances.

Tools loaned. Drywalling and wall framing help. Interior design guidance.

“We’ve had incredible support from our friends in the area, getting this going,” Pelletier said. “We could not have done it without them. There are pieces of a lot of people in here; it’s not just Joe and I.”

On Saturday, April 13, the coffeehouse at 50 N. Main St. will hold its grand opening. In addition to food and drinks for sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the day will offer family fun including face painting for kids.

Regular hours will be Tuesday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed Mondays.

Pelletier said hours may adjust in the weeks and months ahead, based on customer demand.

Pelletier, Howard, and others have worked steadily over the past year to renovate a building known in the past to have been – at least – a pharmacy, restaurant, soda fountain, grocery store and community meeting hall.

Along the way, they said, local residents have popped in unexpectedly to share memories. Like one elderly woman who recalled being there as a small child, when it was a grocery story.

In the building’s coming phase, Howard and Pelletier said they hope that the local vibe will carry on.

The food, for sure, is intentionally that.

“For food, we tried to stay as local as possible,” Pelletier said.

The staff of about eight adults and teens will serve coffee drinks made from the beans of two local roasters: Deerfield Coffee Company and JBC Coffee Roasters in Madison.

Pelletier, a 4-H leader at both the local and state level, community college instructor, and with Howard a mother of six, says hiring some teens was a priority.

“Part of our vision is to create as much opportunity as we can, especially for youth. I love youth and working with youth,” Pelletier said.

Back to the food.

Fresh items available in a grab-and-go case will include yogurt from Odyssey Greek Yogurt in Monroe and Wisco Pop! soda from Viroqua.

A freezer case will be stocked with frozen wrapped meats – from steaks to ground pork – from Fiddlehead Farm in Deerfield.

Scones and muffins will come from Elegant Foods in Madison. Donuts will come from Fosdal Home Bakery in Stoughton. And ice cream cones will be built from Sassy Cow ice cream near Columbus.

Other local products for sale are expected to include Sundance Meadows Honey and Sudsy Goat soap, both produced in Deerfield.

A few weeks after opening, Pelletier expects to begin offering sandwiches made with bread from Madison Sourdough and meats from Fischer Family Farm near Baraboo.

She said she hopes to capture a trend, of people making dining choices based on a desire to do-and-buy local.

“I feel like this is the perfect intersection of that,” Pelletier said. National coffee chains, she said, offer great, consistent products “but you do miss out on the community part.”

Located one block south of the Glacial Drumlin State Trail, which sees heavy summer traffic through Deerfield, the coffeehouse has the potential to capture recreational tourists, she noted.

The interior space is expansive; about 2,600 total square feet.

Its main room will be split into three distinct areas, Pelletier said.

One corner, with a more formal set-up of tables and chairs and tall windows overlooking Main Street, will be for people who want to “sit and get work done,” she said.

Opposite that, with yet more windows overlooking the historic downtown, will be the “quirk” area, with comfortable mismatched vintage furniture, a chess table, board games and a relaxed feel.

Adjacent to that – in full view of parents – will be an area for children that will include a dollhouse and other toys, books and a fish tank. Eventually, Pelletier said children’s craft classes may be offered.

Book clubs and other small informal gatherings are a possibility here, she said. Such offerings will be customer-driven.

“We want to hear what people want; let us know what we can provide,” Pelletier said.

And in the back, behind a dividing wall, is a community room that will be open during regular hours for quieter work, including several cubbies for even more secluded work space. This room includes a full-wall-length mural painted last year by Deerfield High School art students.

Pelletier and Howard envision the community room to be available for meetings and scheduled classes.

Bringing the community together is the ultimate goal, they said.

“We’re really just looking to create for a place for people to gather and connect,” Pelletier said.

Pelletier noted that the coffeehouse is opening after extensive guidance from UW-Madison’s Small Business Development Center. “Their services are free, and they are absolutely amazing,” she said. At one point in the process, she said she met weekly with a mentor from the center. “It was wonderful.”

(1) comment

MartyMontreal

Congrats Howard/Pelletier family! Can't wait to stop in for a cuppa!

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