Editor's note: Last week, Jason Walker with Patch explored the food and beverages at Dunn Bros. This week, Jason chats Dunn Bros. manager Nick Sharp about his restaurant background and the establishment.
Maple Grove Patch: How did you get into the coffee business?
Nick Sharp: This was my first job when I was 16. My mom was a regular here and my older brother worked at a Caribou. She liked it, so I thought, I’ll try a coffee shop, too. So, I got an application at Dunn Bros, and I’ve been here ever since. Started out part-time and eventually started working more.
Maple Grove Patch: What do you like about working here?
Nick Sharp: It’s a nice atmosphere, it’s more laid-back in here. We have great coffee, too, roasted in-store so it’s all very fresh. I like the people – we have a great customer base here, a lot of regulars, so it’s nice that it’s laid-back. It’s not all business, it’s not, ‘get someone in, get them out, get them their drink.’ It’s, ‘how are you doing?’ Get to know them and make a regular out of them and a friend out of them, too. It’s a lot more customer service-based here.
Maple Grove Patch: Is that why people like coming to Dunn Bros.?
Nick Sharp: I hope so. That’s what we try for. Not just a great product but also great customer service. That’s a highlight that we’re hoping to achieve. So people feel like they’re welcome here.
Maple Grove Patch: What does Dunn Bros. mean to the community of Maple Grove?
Nick Sharp: I guess we’re kind of a small business, we’re family-owned by a familly from Andover, this is their second store, there’s one up in Anoka. It’s a local coffee house, not one of the big chains. We are a bigger one, Dunn Bros. does have a decent number of stores, but we’re not Starbucks. We’re not global. We try to do a lot for the community, too.
Maple Grove Patch: Is there a signature item on the menu?
Nick Sharp: For the summer, the Vanilla Iced Nirvana is always a great one to go with. It’s really smooth, not too sweet but still with a good amount of coffee in it. It features our cold press, which is really huge in this store. We sell a lot of that. It is very good. You get a lot of caffeine but it’s also very smooth, there’s not a lot of the acidity that brewed coffee has, so it’s kind of nice for summer. Always a favorite.