March 8 - 2021Coffee Geography Magazine
Sandi Luck has been a coffee lover since she was young. Her Great Grandma Verke (lived to 103 years old) always told her that “conversations are better with coffee!”
She started her first coffee business in 2005 when she purchased 4 coffee kiosks. At the time, she was working at the University of North Dakota and also always had the entrepreneur bug. Mountain Espresso Coffee kiosks were the beginning of her passion for the coffee business.
With her employees and the leadership team, she continued to open several locations in the Midwest.
Hallock’s main street will once again be serving up gourmet coffee as a Grand Forks business expands to town.
Bully Brew Coffee, owned by Sandi Luck, has locations in Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Fargo. They roast their own coffee beans in Grand Forks. In their few trips to Hallock thus far, Luck said, “It’s a joy to be up there.”
Luck purchased the former Bean and Brush Creative Coffee business and the Scandia Airbnb, along with the entire building. The whole idea came about a month ago when Luck’s friend, Jay Friedt of Hallock, mentioned the coffee shop was for sale. They took a look at the business, but the timing wasn’t right.
Then things fell into place when the entire building and both businesses became available.
Sandi Luck, Owner of Bully Brew Coffee
“I’m a believer in things happen for a reason,” she said. “So I did more numbers and it looked like a fun adventure.”
The look of the coffee shop will be different, including booths and high-top tables, bakery items, possibly ice cream – “no promises yet,” Luck said – and you can see the drinks Bully Brew offers on the business’s app. They will also offer their own roasted coffee.
Luck announced on social media over the weekend that Bully Brew is officially coming to town and posted a survey about what people would like to see at the shop.
“Within the first hour I put it on the Facebook page, I think we had over 200 responses,” she said. “I was like, ‘Holy cow! This is awesome.’”
She hopes a $1 coffee special for seniors will work as well in Hallock as it does in Grand Forks. A group of seniors come by every day for a cup and when COVID hit, they set up outside the drive-thru location in Grand Forks, which led to Luck using grant funds to build a patio for them to enjoy.
“I think that just kind of displays the kind of coffee house we are,” she said. “We’re named after bulldogs, which I see as friendly, goofy, warm and comforting, and non-judgmental. That’s what we are all about.”
They plan to expand their menu for both breakfast and lunch. During COVID, they had reduced it to only bagel breakfast sandwiches and a few items for lunch. But now there will be more with sourdough bread, chicken salad on a cranberry walnut bread called the “Pugsley” and other similar sandwiches.
As Bully Brew makes its changes and moves toward opening near the end of March, customers can expect to see a familiar face managing the coffee shop. Becky Rice, of Lancaster, accepted the position and has worked with Luck to interview a few candidates for additional employees.
Rice will do some of her training in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, Luck said.
“I’ve opened a lot of coffee shops and some of them go very smooth, but others we realize we need one more week,” Luck said. “I like to do it right, make everybody feel comfortable and make sure baristas feel comfortable doing everything they’re supposed to do.”