Nov. 16, 2018 – West Bend, WI – Part 2 today on a new locally-owned coffee shop and bakery opening in West Bend.
Sisters Katherine Schenk and Sara Young have been working since February of this year on plans to open their own business, Cafe Floriana, in the lower level of the Cast Iron building, 611 Veterans Avenue.
The sisters have been working on the bakery idea for a while. They found they’re on the same page with a majority of their business plan including a primary goal of providing “hospitality.”
“The culture we want to install is really important to both of us,” said Young. “We want people to feel welcome with delicious food and delicious coffee and we’re on the same page with the hospitality aspect. Growing up it’s something our parents instilled in us; the caring for people and food is love.”
Aside from crafting a menu and a business plan, the sisters also spent time tasting a lot of coffee.
“I wasn’t familiar with the Stone Creekbrand out of Milwaukee,” said Schnek. “We had our list of cafes to visit and the Stone Creek coffee is smooth and delicious and their work ethic and vision is similar to ours.”
A friend with graphic-art talent designed the logo for the cafe. Young scrolled to a photo on her phone of a pallet of colors, blues and light blues, that will be the theme.
Asked to describe the interior Schenk said “I can see it in my mind.”
“It’s going to smell so good,” she said. “You’ll get that coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, warmth and it will make you want to come in, sit down and stay awhile.
“It’ll be modern and clean and inspired by my time spent in Malta.”
While homemade pies will be one of Young’s specialties, she said they will have a variety of delicious bakery to fit the rhythm and the culture of the community.
“We were looking for something quick for the to-go crowd and we are talking about in the future, on evenings or weekends, to do dessert night,” said Young. “We want people to enjoy a wider variety from pies to crisps to cobblers and all the lovely local fresh fruits we can use.”
While the idea of the cafe has been on the table since February 2018, the sister have been busy the last few months getting an education on the food-service industry.
“We’ve been taking coffee-making classes at Stone Creek in downtown Milwaukee as they’ll be providing our coffee,” said Schenk. “We’ve also gone to food-handler safety courses and food hygiene classes and a couple business classes at Moraine Park Technical College and we took some baking classes at the MPTC Fond du Lac campus.”
On the flip side, Young has been baking up a storm.
“We’ve been testing recipes and tasting them and fine tuning our menu,” Schenk said.
The new cafe will be located on the lower retail level of the Cast Iron facility. The shop will be located in 1,500-square-feet of a spot just around the corner and to the east of the Children’s Hospital corner. “There are five suites on that side and we’ll be in the middle because it just best suited our needs size-and-space wise,” said Schenk.
We took a peek at the new space under construction. The ladies were surprised as much as anyone about the extent of demolition needed to put in plumbing.
Contractors apparently ran into a subfloor. Anyone with knowledge of the old West Bend Aluminum Company and what might have been in that area is welcome to chime in.
The new Cafe Floriana should be open in early 2019. The early plan is to employ about a dozen people and be open seven days a week.
Click HERE to read Part 1 of the interview with Young and Schenk.