KEYC - Mankato News, Weather, Sports - - Cafe to be Given Away in Essay Contest

Cafe to be Given Away in Essay Contest

Posted: Updated:
SHERBURN, Minn. -

Drive slowly down Main Street in Sherburn with your windows rolled down, and you can faintly smell freshly brewed coffee, pies set out to cool, and biscuits hot from the oven, all wafting from the Cup and Saucer.

Mayor Dorothy Behne said, "My husband likes the biscuits and gravy, so we do that on Saturday mornings."

For locals, the cafe is more than just a place to eat, it's where you can brag about last night's basketball game, or exchange opinions on matters of great, and sometimes not so great importance.

Cup N Saucer Employee Cheryl Atwell said,"They come in and try to solve he problems of the world over a cup of coffee over a couple eggs."

For almost 60 years the café has been a staple for locals.

Behne said, "They have fresh pies and that's something you just don't get everywhere, and it's at a reasonable price."

And a place for those passing through to get a cup of coffee for a buck, a good meal, and some good company.

Employee Sherrie Jose said laughing, "We love seeing visitors come in, get to hear different stories from them."

And now, this landmark has a story of it's own:

You see, a couple years back, the original owner called quits. The Cup and Saucer was closed for about a year until a prominent businessman in the area re–opened it.

Jose said, "We need this business on Main Street we really do, and every small town needs a cafe for people to come in and catch up with what's going on."

Now the new owner wants to get rid of the café, but you won't see a for–sale sign out front.

Martin County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Bryan Stading said, "His whole point to this was not to actually run it but to actually turn this over, a running café, to a stranger."

The café will be given away through a contest. Those interested in owning the cafe are asked to write an essay, up to three pages long, about why they deserve the business.

Martin County Commissioner Elliot Belgard said "There is a lot of failure in the restaurant business a lot of failure I small town restaurant business so this is hopefully going to give them a chance."

Applicants will have to kick in a $75 entry fee, which will be put towards support for the café and a "pay it forward" growth fund for other Main Street businesses.

Stading said, "Store fronts are closing everyday and we are trying to reverse the trend with this opportunity."

The opportunity will by no means a free ride for the new owner.

Running a café is a lot of work, but they won't be alone in Sherburn where the people are as warm as freshly cooked meals.

Atwell said,"We need to help each other so it doesn't just go away. It's fellowship and friendship and French toast and a big cup of coffee."

The community has rallied around the continuation of the café and Martin County Economic Development Authority and a business class from Bethany Lutheran College are helping the project.

The application period will be open from March 7 through April 9, to find the application, go to www.rcef.net or www.co.martin.mn.us.