Work begins on library coffee kiosk

Thursday, January 22, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 3:02 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 26, 2008

The location of the sink and other parts of the new Lakota Coffee Co. kiosk were outlined in tape at the Columbia Public Library on Wednesday. After a two-month delay, plumbing and wiring were scheduled to go in today, and by Sunday or Monday, the coffee kiosk should be open for business.

Lakota Coffee Co. owner Skip DuCharme said it’s taken longer than expected to get the service up and running because the materials for the kiosk countertop were customized to match the interior of the new library. The curved terra cotta countertop is a special composite material, durable and resistant to stains, that DuCharme said is the first of its kind in the Midwest.

Since the kiosk was supposed to open in November, Lakota has been bringing portable containers of coffee from 9 to 11 each morning — and providing it free — for the past two months.

“We did it as a good gesture to the customer base at the library — to give them a taste of what’s coming,” DuCharme said. “We’re also very sorry that it’s late.”

The service will offer three kinds of coffee — regular, decaf and a special blend — as well as refillable mugs with a library logo on one side and Lakota’s on the other. The menu will also include pastries from the Upper Crust and an assortment of tea and juice.

The library is planning a contest to name the special blend created by Lakota for library users.

Under an agreement between Lakota and the library, Friends of the Library will receive 20 percent of sales from the special blend and $1 for every mug that’s sold.

“The patrons are lucky to have a library open-minded enough to have a coffee kiosk, especially with all the extra perks that will go to Friends of the Library to strengthen their program,” DuCharme said.

Books can be brought into the coffee area, but coffee will only be allowed in the lobby and areas with orange carpeting, which include most meeting and study rooms.

Library associate Gail Plunkett said the temporary coffee service has already attracted considerable interest. “I think it’s going to be a wonderful atmosphere to encourage people to sit down and read a book,” she said.

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