Java Loon Coffee Joins the Leech Lake Chamber
My name is Kate Tande. In the spring of 2022, my husband, Ben, and I purchased the property that formerly held Java Loon Coffee and the Chase on the Lake gift shop. Ben and I both grew up in the area and have three sons: a sophomore, a 7th grader, and a 4th grader. We have been Walker residents now for 20 years! I enjoy “slow” time when I can find it, walking, reading, being outdoors and anything near the lake. As a family, we enjoy traveling, and our seasonal businesses allow for fun adventures. Last winter, we spent two months on the road in a 5th wheel camper and visited 14 states. We also stay busy with basketball in the winter, with all three boys playing, and also church activities.
I have an undergrad degree in elementary education and worked in middle school & 1st grade for a few years. For the last 18 years, my role has consisted of almost a decade at our family business and then after that primarily being a stay-at-home mom. We recently sold the dock and lift service we started in 2004 and have other entrepreneurial projects, including a property on Lake May that we run as an Airbnb. I am also currently working on getting a master’s degree in mental health counseling, a calling I have wanted to pursue for a while.
We were not 100% sure what we would make of the Java Loon property, but over the last year it has found its identity. We decided to re-open the coffee shop and Java Loon was “reestablished” in July as a Proudly Serving Caribou Coffee. It has been a fun but exhausting challenge! I have barista experience from my college years and love coffee. We also added a small gift and loon souvenir section, focusing on local and fair-trade-made items when possible. We have enjoyed giving locals and visitors another fun place to stop in Walker as well as giving time to training up young workers.
The other areas of the building got a re-fresh over the winter. In the last month, we handed over the spaces to three tenants; an apartment above the coffee shop, Enjoy candy store, and a Pedago Electric Bike rental. Java Loon, Enjoy, and Pedago will all open in May and run seasonally. When the weather permits, the building will be getting a fresh coat of paint to set it apart from former ownership.
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