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By Missy Klatt
BOYCEVILLE – Jeremy and Megan Mittlestadt have brought another small business to Boyceville. As Jeremy likes to say we are reinvesting in Boyceville. Six years ago Jeremy started Mosquito Hunters and now their latest adventure is Kavu Coffee House.
Both Megan (nee Williams) and Jeremy are 1998 graduates of Boyceville High School. Megan went on to UW-EC and has a degree in Accounting and Business Economics while Jeremy has a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from UW-Stout. After working and doing a lot of traveling for their various jobs they decided that coming home to Boyceville to settle down and raise their family felt right.
They have three children, JB who is in sixth grade, Myla a third grader, and Charlotte who is in kindergarten. While the coffee house is a family affair where the kids enjoy “helping”, Megan also works full time at WESTconsin Credit Union. Adding to the family affair is Jeremy’s mom, Debbie who is helping out in the shop as well as doing a large portion of the baking.
The idea of having a coffee shop in Boyceville is an idea that Megan and Jeremy have been kicking around for a few years and when the space became available, behind B Fit Fitness Center where where Main Street Nutrition was located, they thought why not.
“Megan and I have been really big on being involved in our community. I serve on the school board and Megan’s on the village board. It was kind of a way to put our money where our mouth was…and hey there’s more to this community than a school and one business. There’s a lot that can be done here. We just felt, hey there’s a hole, just like our other business, we can fill a hole.” Remarked Jeremy
The space became available in May of this year and they quietly opened on September 13 after putting out some teasers at Pickle Fest. While Jeremy had experience in opening restaurants he’s the first to admit he had no experience in the coffee biz. He relied heavily on some good friends and coffee “experts” to learn the process of making good coffee.
Finding the right coffee was also a process. They got samples from six different coffee roasters around the state, they are trying to keep things as local as possible. They sent samples to their coffee snob friends to get their feedback on the best coffee. They then narrowed it down to three roasters and eventually the one that they have partnered with is a company out of River Falls.
Besides coffees and espresso, they also offer specialty drinks, teas, blended drinks (frappes and smoothies), iced drinks and “Kiddo Quenchers”. They will also be offering seasonal drinks. Besides baked goods they also have a limited menu which includes sandwiches, wraps, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and soups. Every day is a different soup and they also have a different daily special which can be found on their Facebook page, Kavu Coffee House.
They are trying to keep things simple and with the space that they have, they are limited as to what they can do. Baking is done off site in a commercial kitchen south of Boyceville and they also buy some products from other local companies. Besides keeping it simple they are also trying to bring in some unique items to their menu like chocolate cream cheese muffins and pumpkin scones.
Trying to make the most of their limited space, the Mittlestadts created a patio area out in front of the shop which is great in the warm weather and virtually doubled their seating.
As with any new business, things are constantly getting tweaked to find what works best. One change that they have already made is to shorten their hours. They used to be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. but recently decided to close at 4 p.m. Jeremy said that they found most people don’t drink coffee after 4 p.m. however he said that if someone stops in right at closing they are not going to turn them away.
Their website, kavucoffee.com will be up and running shortly and then you will be able to order online, drive up and someone will run your order out to you. A plus in the cold months ahead.
Another way to try and keep the coffee house unique and tie it into Boyceville is in the name itself. Kavu is actually Slovac for coffee. Jeremy’s grandmother is Slovac and his grandparents only spoke Slovac. They settled in the “Slovac Valley” north of Boyceville.
Jeremy said that some people that have come in know that it’s Slovac and they share some of their stories about family history which he enjoys listening to.
Besides the drinks and food, Kavu also has a small retail aspect where they sell some unique products from the area which include candles, soap, and CBD cream. To help decorate the walls they have some pencil drawings from Don Austrum, the former Boyceville art teacher and some photos from another friend.
So far things have been going well and Jeremy states that the support from the community has been awesome. Being so close to the high school has given Jeremy the chance to get to know a lot of the students who stop in on their way to school or after school. He also has some of them as employees.
The Mittlestadts believe strongly reinvesting and supporting their local community and will continue to do so for years to come.