I popped into Crafts Direct in Waite Park this week to browse the fabric section and pick up a few things, when something caught my eye. There were signs by the empty restaurant/cafe space in the building that said it is available for lease. I'm not sure how long these signs have been up, I'm in the store once a week but I'm usually on a mission and have tunnel vision guiding me to the aisle I need supplies in. Nonetheless, this is exciting.

The space is about 1,000 square feet, and obviously in a real high foot traffic area being at the front of a 40,000 square foot craft store. This place is a total destination shopping experience for creatives, and I know I personally miss the cafe that used to be there. Crafting and shopping need to be properly fueled.

As I checked out and then went about my evening, I had an absolute brain blast as to the kind of cafe/restaurant that should go into the space. I'm going to share it with you in hopes that you are the right person or know of the right person to make this happen. I work four jobs so I don't have time to run a cafe now, otherwise I would.

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Abbey Minke Graves
Abbey Minke Graves

Name: "Cheese and Crafters"

Concept: A fast-casual grilled cheese and soup cafe.

Menu: A condensed menu, offering specialty grilled cheese sandwiches and two rotating soup flavors depending on the day/season.

Keep it super simple, and super specific. Have like 4 or 5 different grilled cheese options, (along with a vegan one for those of us with allergies and other dietary restrictions) and rotate out a couple of killer soups to go along with them. Everyone of every age enjoys a grilled cheese sandwich, and they are so fast to make. And by having a condensed menu you keep your costs low. PLUS you could provide take-out food for Back Shed Brewing located across the parking lot. There's a lot of potential with this idea.

If someone wants to make this happen, that would be awesome. I can't wait to see what goes into this space!

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