by Scott Neuffer

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November 29, 2011
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Brewing success in the Ranchos: Popular java joint opens new location

One java-rich business operation has been filling plenty of cups during the last three years of the recession and now has expanded to a new location in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

"It was just out of the blue. We heard Blind Dog Coffee had closed, contacted them, and they put us in touch with the property owner," said Karen Hall, who owns Coffee on Main with her husband Don. "We started talking about it, went back and forth, and decided to give it a try. We love the building and the location."

The Halls purchased Nevada Joe's Coffee on Main in downtown Minden in January 2009.

"It's been very positive," Hall said of the Minden business. "Everybody really enjoys everything about that location."

The tidy red hut along Highway 395 employs five people. Because of its small, kiosk-like size, the drive-thru dominates the business cycle, with occasional walk-up customers.

The new Ranchos location, on the other hand, offers a cozy sit-down atmosphere with a lofty ceiling, fire place, cafe-style tables, game-boards, book shelves, and free wi-fi.

The menu behind the counter is almost identical to the Minden store - Alpen Sierra Mountain Roasted Coffee, lattes, Italian sodas, etc. - but behind the counter, past the drive-thru window, is a commercial kitchen that allows employees to bake scones, muffins, brownies, blondies and cookies, including vegan and gluten-free varieties.

There is also outdoor seating, which means the new Coffee on Main is pet-friendly.

"We came out here to do exactly the same thing we do at the little store, with the same products, but on a bigger scale. We do have the walk-in business here," Hall explained, "and we do want to expand with a light lunch menu after the first of the year."

Coffee on Main, Ranchos version, opened in mid-October. More than a month later, Hall said business is strong and picking up.

"Because of the location, it's really like the center of town out here," she said. "We have the drive-thru clientele, and then those who come through later with their computers or books or newspaper."

The Halls purposely set the new store's business hours half an hour earlier than the Minden location; the coffee in the Ranchos is brewed and ready to sell by 5:30 a.m. on weekdays.

"In the early morning, it's all about the drive-thru," Hall said. "Everybody leaves the neighborhood to go to work, and we make sure we're ready for them early. In the late morning, through the afternoon, we start seeing groups of people coming in with their computers."

Hall employs eight people at the new location, including one person solely dedicated to baking. The weekend hours differ slightly from the Minden spot as well, with a few more business hours on Sunday.

"We just have a lot more foot traffic on the weekends," Hall said.

Besides food items, the coffee shop displays local art and retails specialty travel mugs. For the holidays, the business is hosting a food drive for the Carson Valley Community Food Closet as well as a winter cap and mitten tree.

A grand opening is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 17.

"We're all enjoying it," Hall said. "In a small town, we learn a lot about people, our customers, and that's what makes it fun."

Located at 795 Tillman Lane, Coffee on Main, Ranchos, is open from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, call 392-2293.

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The Record Courier Updated Nov 29, 2011 01:24PM Published Nov 29, 2011 01:22PM Copyright 2011 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.