New roadside cafe is brewing

Groggy morning commuters on their way to Minot from Velva and Sawyer can now start the day off right, with a piping-hot caffeinated beverage and a freshly baked bit of something from Valley Vegetables Espresso Shop.

Operating for about a month now, the future of the shop is still in development.

“It’s about what I sort of envisioned,” said its owner and sole operator, Sidney Carter Hughes, when he thought up the shop back in the spring of 2012 after researching Italian cafes online. Only 20, Hughes had scrimped and saved for the business, building it himself in piecemeal fashion near to where the old Valley Vegetable produce shop had stood. Like many structures in the area, this had been destroyed during the 2011 flood, along with the farm’s 52 acres.

Recently completed, there are only a few odds and ends that still need doing, but the business will continue to transform in the coming seasons. “We’ve got a lot of ideas,” said Hughes, who along with his younger brother, Zach, is developing the idea of having a bakery on the premises in the next year or so.

“We’re setting it up so we can do a variety of things,” with seating to accomodate up to 30 patrons inside and the possibility of different operations at various times of day. Bakery in the early morning, coffee all day, a more fine sort of dining experience in the evening, reservable rooms for events; the possibilities are still in utero.

For the present, a drive-thru window features items displayed in colored chalk on the blackboard menu. Inside, Hughes conjures up a variety of coffee drinks and will sell a number of desserts and baked goods he makes himself.

“The feedback on the caramel rolls has been amazing,” said Hughes, with people likening his pastries to their grandmothers’.

Located at 10003 U.S. Highway 52 South, Hughes believes the shop is well situated. “The location has the potential to be one of the best in the area,” he said, the eight-minute drive to Minot ample time to enjoy a hot cuppa before the workday, yet not too far a drive as to be out of the way. “It gives you room to relax a bit.” Plus, he added “it’s really turning into a big neighborhood” around Sawyer and Velva with new residential development ongoing.

Hughes will hold the espresso shop’s grand opening on Oct. 3, an all-day event from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Regular hours will be from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and Sunday, but the youngish entrepreneur is hoping to hammer out the most convenient hours, perhaps by holding a poll or collecting feedback on the Valley Vegetables Espresso Shop page on Facebook.