Oakdale's Dunn Bros Coffee will be celebrating its fourth anniversary next week and is looking forward to many more in the future.
But business will need to improve, said owner Tom Nacey.
Nacey told Oakdale Patch that he was down nearly 10 percent in December, which he partially credits to the new Caribou Coffee drive-thru in Bergen Plaza.
"I've also heard from a lot of other business people too that their Decembers weren't as good as the year before. So I'm taking part of it as yeah, there is new competition, but I also think there's a lot of uncertainty in the market place," Nacey said. "People are watching their pennies, which is totally understandable."
Earlier this month Nacey posted a cry for support on Facebook:
Hi everyone, do you like having Dunn Bros Oakdale around? Would you like us to continue to be part of the community? Our corporate competitor who is now owned by a large conglomerate has taken a bunch of business. I'm asking for your help. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors I owe that to you and my awesome staff who serve you each day. Thanks, Tom
Nacey said he has still retained a loyal customer base who visits on a daily or weekly basis, but believes Caribou's drive-thru has made a dent in business.
"We've probably lost people just from geography because (Caribou) is closer and they've got a drive-thru," Nacey said. "Let's face it, in Minnesota this time of year if you have a choice of sitting in a warm car and getting out to come in, well..."
After Nacey's post, customers flooded Facebook with support, including the following posts:
Ann: Love Dunn Bros Oakdale, please stop by for a great cup of coffee. You won't be disappointed.
Sheila: We need you around, their coffee is not even near as good as yours!
Jane: Absolutely want Dunn Bros Oakdale around. Yes...I will spread your message
Karen: Always bring my clients in and you guys are the best!!
Daniel: My everyday starts with the best coffee shop in Oakdale. You guys ROCK!
Nikki: Love, love Dunn Bros Oakdale! I would drive by 5 Starbucks/Caribous to drink your coffee and visit with your warm staff. Hang in there...please!
Jenn: You guys are my FAVORITE! Whenever I have the opportunity to have groups and such, we meet there! I will be praying for your business and I will try to make it in more!
Kim: We totally support the Oakdale Dunn Brothers. Not only do they have great coffee, but the are very community oriented.
Aaron: Tom, what you guys have done for the community and for the people of our community cannot be measured. You are the best. You are essential. You are necessary. You will always have the support of me and my family. Let me know if I can ever help you.
A third Caribou Coffee is slated to locate at the former Kwik Trip gas station at the corner of Hadley Avenue and Highway 120 (Century Avenue). The site has been somewhat controversial due to its busy intersection, among some other concerns from residents and area business owners.
Due to that location, Nacey said he isn't too concerned about that particular location affecting business.
Dunn Bros frequently features new specials, but Nacey said its their customer service and their employees' relationships with the community that has created a loyal following.
"We really feel a connection with the community and want to continue to be in that role, but we still need people to come in and spend some money," Nacey said. "At some point in time if business doesn't improve then I'm either going to have to sell the store or shut her down."