The new Brothers Market that opened Monday in Lisbon would be enough to please many small towns struggling to keep a retail base.
Lisbon's new grocery store came with a bonus, however. It's the first in the growing Brothers Market chain to have a in-store coffee cafe and coffee roaster.
Brothers Markets partnered with Cabin Coffee of Clear Lake to incorporate the coffee house into its new store, located along Highway 30 on Lisbon's west side.
The Brothers Market chain was started by the DeVries brothers — Dusty, Darian, Jay and Jared DeVries — who were acclaimed prep athletes during their high school years in Aplington. After the Parkersburg tornado caused the local market in their hometown community to close in 2008, they decided to open their first grocery to bring back a food market to the town.
They later opened their second market in Cascade.
The Lisbon location is the first "store within a store" for Cabin Coffee, according to Brad Barber, who founded the business with his wife, Angie, in Clear Lake 10 years ago.
Jared DeVries, the former Detroit Lions defensive end, was a longtime customer of Cabin Coffee's Clear Lake cafe, Barber said.
After the DeVries brothers made their first run at incorporating a coffee shop into their new store in Cascade, they decided to bring in outside expertise to help with their next store in Lisbon.
The Lisbon coffee shop is a more extensive affair than most in-store Starbucks counters. It features a cozy fireplace, rustic wood decor, coffee roaster, retail coffee bean selection and a breakfast and lunch menu.
Customers who want fresh-roast coffee to take home can make their selection before they do their shopping, then pick up the coffee later.
With its contemporary styling, the new Brothers Market breaks from the antiquated stereotype of small-town markets. It hopes to draw from a much larger market than Lisbon, even though neighboring Mount Vernon also has a grocery store.
Lisbon Mayor Beryl O'Connor said that while she's highly impressed by the store, one of the best things the market gives her local constituents is a store they can visit on foot or bicycle.
Most of the customers will come in by car, from a broader area. The city provided the store with a turning lane on Highway 30, and O'Connor expects other retailers to locate in the new commercial subdivision.
Local leaders have been working for over a year to court Brothers Market, paying more than $5,000 for a study that helped validate the ability of a new grocery to succeed in Lisbon, and providing for other incentives that could be worth $870,000 over a 10-year period.
Barber said connecting with the local community is a key ingredient in Cabin Coffee's success. The chain has fundraising programs for community schools and other groups, and provides local jobs."You can sell a good cup of coffee, but the first thing you have to have is a warm friendly smile," he said. "We really want to make their day."