If Americans are appreciating simpler things in life during these challenging pandemic days, coffee is surely on the top of the list.

That’s what played out when Grace Coffee Co. opened its doors on July 31 in the Prairie Lakes Shoppes. Co-owners Nicki Bloomer and Carlos Falcon say they’ve appreciated the welcome.

“We came here because there were overwhelming requests to come out to Sun Prairie,” Bloomer said. “And since opening, the support has been crazy.”

The new Sun Prairie spot is open for dine-in and drive-thru with a full offering of coffee, lunch, brunch, baked goods and desserts.

Grace Coffee Co. exclusively uses Onyx Coffee Labs roasted beans. Falcon, who moved from Seattle to open the Sun Prairie and Madison coffee houses, said it’s the best coffee around, sourced from Central and South America and Africa. Bloomer said it’s the best bean to go in Grace Coffee Company’s espressos, macchiatos, Americanos, cappuccinos, lattes and other drinks. She said the customers notice the quality.

“People say we have the best cold brew coffee,” Bloomer said.

Grace Coffee Co.’s fall launch of drinks includes pumpkin cardamom lattes, pumpkin chai lattes, and pumpkin cream cold-brews.

With the cooler autumn temps and the weariness of COVID-19 limitations, Grace Coffee Co. is attracting people to its bright, sunny “Instagrammable” Sun Prairie space with green plants, bright murals and artwork.

“We have definitely seen an increase in people who want to sit and study or come in and dine with their families and friends. That is something that people haven’t been able to do in a long time,” Bloomer said. “But we just want everyone to be safe and smart about it.”

Tables at Grace Coffee Co. are spaced out to allow for social distancing and face masks are required when customers aren’t eating and drinking. Staff is also masked up and following COVID-19 safety and cleaning protocols.

Food gets as much focus as coffee on Grace’s menu with all-day brunch, lunch, and early evening snacks served until 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Brunchy items like avocado toast and acai bowls are big hits, Bloomer said. So is a breakfast sandwich made on a croissant stuffed with cream cheese and sprinkled with “everything” seasonings.

The spicy turkey sandwich, and steak and onion sandwich, also popular, join a menu of salads, quesadillas, and other items.

Bloomer said food quality is key.

“People have been impressed because everything is made-to-order and everything is fresh,” Bloomer said of the locally-sourced menu.

The full menu can be pre-ordered on the Grace Coffee Co. app and picked up at the drive-thru window.

Bloomer says Grace Coffee’s talented pastry chef creates scones, danishes, breads and other pastries as part of a full bakery operations. Desserts, quiches and treats will be available soon to pre-order for the holidays.

Grace’s Coffee Shop also has two locations in Madison — on State Street and on East Washington Avenue. Bloomer said that each spot reflects the community.

“The fun thing is we really attract different age groups for all different reasons, and they all really enjoy what we have to offer,” Bloomer said.

Even though Grace Coffee Co. is new to Sun Prairie, Bloomer and Falcon appreciate the sense of close-knit community that they feel here.

“We are still pretty fresh here but it’s a passion of Carlos and I to be part of the community and support it however it can,” Bloomer said.

Running a business during COVID-19 has been challenging, Bloomer said, but operating a community spot like a coffeehouse has been a bright spot.

“The biggest thing is we want people to feel welcome no matter who they are and feel safe, and enjoy a coffee, pastry, food, and good company,” Bloomer said. “That is something that we haven’t been able to do often—the pandemic has been tough for everyone.”

Grace Coffee Co, 1261 Cabela Dr, Sun Prairie. More info at www.gracecoffeewi.com and Facebook.

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