Friday, June 14, 2024

Argo Coffee and Biscuits Opens

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The owners of Argo Bar, formerly known as Argonaut Espresso Bar, have opened a new location. Argonaut Coffee and Biscuits is located at 220 US-2. The new business is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and serves espresso, pastries, and breakfast food.

Breakfast and food options have moved from Argo Bar to Argonaut Coffee and Biscuits. Argo Bar will still serve coffee and cookies. There was not enough space to meet the demand for food items at Argo Bar, said Lindsey Dahlstrom, owner of the two Argonaut locations. 

“We're doing everything out of an 80 square foot box and you're selling a lot of breakfast items. And we couldn't keep up with what we were doing so we needed more space,” she said.

Noah Dahlstrom, co-owner of the two Argonaut locations, said that town has been so busy during the last year or two. With downtown being closed to cars that a lot of people didn’t want to go down to Front Street into “the madness.”

With no parking on Front Street, it was harder to get to Argo Bar and the local crowd was missing, said Lindsey Dahlstrom. During the pandemic, she said that the first couple of months were uncertain for Argo Bar, but then the business was busier than ever before. The new location is adjacent to the Department of Transportation parking lot, so there is a lot of available parking.

People were looking for something fast, she said, instead of sitting down for breakfast. Demand at Argo Bar went up and that demand doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. That made the decision to open a second coffee location feel less uncertain. This isn’t the Dahlstroms first time opening a second location.

Noah and Lindsey Dahlstrom used to own Argonaut Kitchen, a sandwich shop with free-range and locally sourced ingredients, but decided to close that location. The shop cooked up sandwiches like the infamous Tokyo Roadhouse, a fried chicken sandwich served on a baguette.

Argonaut Kitchen was profitable and successful, but there was a need for life balance, Noah Dahlstrom said. The sandwich shop was very different from the coffee shop and required a large amount of inventory. So the Dahlstroms just decided to focus on the coffee side of things and reorganize their businesses so they had more time for their family, going outside, and their other priorities.

“At some point I want to make fried chicken again. I don't know when it will be,” Noah Dahlstrom said.

Even though Argonaut Kitchen is closed permanently, the Dahlstroms are still busy managing two businesses now that Argonaut Coffee and Biscuits has opened. Their employees help to lighten the load, Danielle is managing the two locations, Lindsey Dahlstrom said. Consolidating food operations to one place has also made running two businesses manageable.

Lindsey Dahlstrom said that she loves all of her employees and is excited about the team that she has to start working in the new space. She said that all her employees have a good attitude and work ethic and she is encouraged by the quality of people they have found to work.

Opening day for Argonaut Coffee and Biscuits was Friday, August 6. Opening day went well, Lindsey Dahlstrom said. “It was really encouraging. A lot of people came out to see and be here for opening day,” she said.

The opening was a soft opening, Noah Dahlstrom said. The Dahlstroms aren't trying to advertise anywhere because they are working out the little kinks in running their new business as well as finishing up opening touches. The patio is still being built and other parts of the business are being put together.

Argonaut Coffee and Biscuits is in the front of the Syndicate Smith architecture office building. Noah Dahlstrom said the idea to open a second location at Argonaut Coffee and Biscuits came up in November and December.

Todd Smith, owner of Syndicate Smith architecture, did the basic plans and built a wall between the architecture offices and the to-be coffee shop in the spring. The finishing work has been done in the past two months, Noah Dahlstrom said.

However, the Dahlstroms knew last year that they couldn’t make as many biscuits and breakfast sandwiches as people wanted at Argo Bar early last year. Argo Bar only has one small oven. The staff could only make biscuits that they were going to sell that day, that morning.

Once they were open, Noah Dahlstrom said, they couldn’t make any more biscuits because they needed the oven to heat up food. But at their new location, they can put in more batches into the oven throughout the day as they sell out. The expanded kitchen makes it a lot easier to handle customers' demands for food.

When asked what motivated him as a business owner to keep growing and expanding, Noah Dahlstrom said that he and Lindsey just make what they wish existed in the market.

“I think we just make the things that we like, for better or worse”, he said. “I don't know if that's a good business model or not but that's kind of, I think part of that. And then we, you know, we also listen to the community.”

When Argo Bar originally opened, it only sold cookies and coffee. Later, they decided to make savory breakfast sandwiches based on feedback from customers. Now, a second location called Argonaut Coffee and Biscuits seems to be what people want.

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