Small Business Spotlight – Mud on Main

Mud on Main, the local Coffee House and Roastery located at 207 Historic West Main Street in Cherokee, Iowa, will celebrate its 13th Anniversary in business in October this year.

“I started the business on a whim; a friend had asked me to do it. I didn’t know anything about coffee then, but thought, let’s roll with it,” said owner Jessica Kannegeiter.

The humble beginnings started in Aurelia, IA.

“It was a tiny coffee shop, a little place with a drive-thru window,” stated Jessica.

She served a few different coffee selections and various breakfast items, including pastries, cookies, and muffins. The business did well, and she expanded her menu to include sandwiches, soups, and more. Then she purchased a trailer and was able to deliver her goods to farmers and the Farmer’s Market in areas near town.

“I bought my second location for a coffee house in Cherokee in 2017. This would allow me to roast my own beans,” explained Jessica.

That second coffee house was when she bought the Copper Cup in Cherokee, which allowed her to roast her coffee beans. 

“I drank coffee before I opened the business. I enjoyed it but didn’t consider it a staple in my life. I have a lot more appreciation for it now. There’s more that goes into making coffee than what you think. It’s cool. With roasting our own now, I’ve learned a lot about the process,” shared Jessica.

She went on to explain more about the roasting process.

“We get the beans in; they’re green and raw. I order out of a location in Minneapolis. They get shipped to us in those big, brown burlap bags. Then we roast the coffee out at my farm. Everything is roasted within two weeks. It’s very fresh. It’s great!”

With roasting their beans, coffee is now available to order and be shipped directly to customers to make at their homes;

“We order a lot of different varieties that we roast. We can ship it directly to customers, or you can come to the store to get it,” said Jessica.

Although a number of different varieties are available, Jessica shared that they have three top sellers: 1. Light Roast, 2. Mexican Dark Roast, and 3. Farmer’s Blend (Dark Roast).

“I prefer the Farmer’s Blend myself. It’s a very robust coffee.”

The small store in Aurelia was going well and the coffee trailer was spreading business throughout the Siouxland area. Then in 2020, a piece of property down the street in Cherokee was up for sale.

“We bought it and moved our location down the street. I sold the smaller store in Aurelia, and my family (husband Tyler and four children) moved to Cherokee. Now we’re in a much bigger location with a lot more opportunities. It’s been a great move,” shared Jessica.

The new, larger location has a stage, allowing them to do several different things.

“We host special events for non-profits to raise funds. We do BINGO on Thursday night every other month in the fall and winter months. People with the nonprofit for the event come in and call the numbers. They get to talk about their organization and what they are doing. The last group we had this spring was the speech kids from the high school. They came and called the numbers. Then at the intermission, they did a little skit about what they take to their showcases. It’s fun! We have a free-will donation. It doesn’t cost to play. We get donated prizes from other businesses in town.”

The Coffee House is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. With the larger facility and the stage, they have live music after dark with beer, wine, and cocktails on the menu.

“The 4-H program in town needs to purchase a new scale. So we’re having puzzle parties to help them raise the money. You assemble a 500-piece puzzle while drinking an adult beverage and munching on pretzels. You have to finish in the allotted time to be the winner. We want to do these different events and give back to other town-support groups. If you have an idea or want to do something for a fundraiser, please reach out to us, message us on Facebook, or message us through the website. We’re always up for something new. We like to keep things fresh and people excited about different activities. It helps get exposure for the local groups and organizations, too,” said Jessica.

Mud on Main isn’t just about the coffee. It’s about bringing people together.

“We’ve created layers of community. We want to be able to give back and give exposure to those who need it. It’s been a great team effort. My staff is great! They have a lot of fun with it!”

Jessica said in closing that she loves it when people come in and have business meetings at the Coffee House, or Bible Study groups come in and meet, or simply students come in to study; that they have been able to create a safe place for people to come, meet, and be part of a community again.

By Amy Buster

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