Coffee Shop Trash Talking from East of the River

St. Paul Realtor, Bonnie Erickson, has put together some observations on St. Paul coffee shops and takes a swipe at Minneapolis in the post:

St. Paul Coffee

If a business associate suggests meeting at Caribou, you know they’re not local. They’re probably from the other side of the river where our sister city sports more brand names than independents.

Bonnie, we have quite a few independents on our side of the river too. The Longfellow Community alone has Blue Moon, Riverview, Minnehaha Coffee, Hiawatha Coffee, and the only chain is Dunn Bros. Much of South Minneapolis follows similar patterns with unique places like Nokomis Beach, Tillie’s, Java Jack’s, Anodyne, Caffe Tempo, etc.

I’m sure Northeast has a fair representation of independents too.

I’m just trying to decide which St. Paul Coffee Shop I should go to on my next trip to St. Paul:

The Caribou at Snelling & Grand?
The Caribou at Lexington & Grand?
The Starbucks at Lexinton & Grand?
Or the Dunn Bros at Snelling & Grand?

12 thoughts on “Coffee Shop Trash Talking from East of the River”

  1. Ed, I’ve been found out!

    Ah, the Blue Moon has seen me a few times with purchase agreements in hand and then they tore up Lake Street and I got out of the habit. Is it the Riverview that has wonderful blended Chai? It’s on 42nd Ave. in Longfellow but I can’t remember the cross street. Wonderful place with a kids area, however, it was hard to write an offer when the band was playing! 😉

    I hope you’ll forgive my teasing about the other side of the river. I’m truly a turncoat having only moved from the west side of the river in September, 2004. I love both cities, but my secret is that I don’t particularly like coffee, just the smell! Steamed milk with honey is my drink of choice. Java Z’s in St. Cloud called it a “honey moo”. But what I do like is the independents and their ambience.

    Do note, that all of the chain stores you mentioned are on Grand Ave. Grand used to be the core of independence (purposely spelled that way) and now the chains are all buying a piece of the Avenue. There goes the neighborhood! ;-D

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Bonnie. Riverview’s at 42nd Ave S & 38th St E.

    I’m just stoking the rivalry.

    True about Grand. It’s amazing how much it’s been transformed in recent years.

  3. Did you notice the Caribou going in at Cedar and M’haha Pkwy? I threw up a little in my mouth. At least they’re putting in a Grand Ole Creamery in next to it to replace the old timey DQ they tore down. But Caribou? Are you kidding me?

    For my money it doesn’t get much better than Java Jacks or Fireroast, but that’s because I like their food/bakery items.

  4. I don’t mind Caribou’s, but I’d rather have a stop at a truly local or family owned place given a choice. The Grand Ole Creamery should do very well near the parkway there. Overall, a vast improvement to that corner, IMO.

  5. Delocator.net found 24 Non-Corporate Cafes and 5 Starbucks within 5 miles of 55101, this is a 3.5 : 1 ratio for St Paul; and 63 Non-Corporate Cafes and 18 Starbucks within 5 Miles off 55401, a 4.8:1 ratio for Minneapolis.

    Caribou doesn’t seem to be on here though… hmmm.

  6. Here’s an interesting one. Caribou’s site doesn’t let you find more than 10 shops in a given distance form an area, but the first ten shops in 55401 are all within .64 miles of the search center. In the 55101 zip code, the ten nearest are spread over 4.64 miles. There certainly appears to be a higher concentration of Caribou in Minnecrapolis.

  7. Caribou along with Dunn Bros. are based in the twin cities and anywhere else in the country would be considered nearly independents. In fact the twin cities is the only major metro area in the country where Starbucks is not no.1 I really don’t care if it’s Minneapolis or that city to the east, I prefer an independent anything to a chain.

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