A drive down Lake Avenue in Battle Lake holds many of the area’s staple businesses. A newer façade is that of Sunroom Coffee & Tea. Located next to Stella’s Bistro and Wine, the Sunroom is ready to brew you the perfect cup of high-quality coffee.
Opened in May 2019, the Sunroom is co-owned by Dan and Mary Olson and Ryan and Megan Carlson. Together, the two couples also own Stella’s Bistro and Wine and Smackin’ Cakes as well as the building in which they reside.
Dan Olson and Ryan Carlson have a long history, as Dan recalled.
“My childhood friend, Ryan Carlson, and I, we shared woods together growing up, so we’ve known each other since we were 6 years old. We were in a band together for a long time, like 15 years. We’ve lived in different places and all that, but he called me up one day and said, ‘Dan, do you want to buy this building in Battle Lake?’ because he had tended bar at Stella’s in the past. He caught myself and Mary at a time where we were like, ‘Yeah, let’s just do it!’”
Dan smiled as he recalled their visit to the building, “It just looked like a big old playhouse. It looked like a place that we could create. We immediately started dreaming about possibilities. You know how that is? You walk into an old building and it’s ramshackled but you can just dream of what you want to do with it. That’s what got me wanting to do it.”
The building itself is currently being renovated but is already being well used. Old brick walls have been exposed and a ceiling has been knocked out in the Sunroom, preparing the way for balcony seating overlooking the stage, where a variety of performances can be held. The second level also boasts a sunny, well-lit studio area that overlooks Lake Avenue, which is currently being used to record podcasts.
The third and final level of the building is a large, open space, complete with hardwood floors and chandeliers, reminiscent of a ballroom. That space is currently being occupied by Asunder Recording Studio.
With a passion for coffee, the Olson’s primarily oversee the daily operations of the Sunroom.
“In 2010 Greg Stumbo in Fergus Falls turned me on to a new way to experience coffee, that whole craft coffee and taking it way more seriously than we probably should,” Dan laughed.
“He blew my mind on the coffee thing! I loved what he was bringing to the smaller communities that I had only seen in the big cities,” Dan shared as the beginning of his journey toward owning and operating a coffee house.
His experience with Stumbeano’s, as well as a positive experience at Young Blood Coffee in Fargo left Dan well prepared for life in the craft coffee world. “I love coffee and I can’t help it now. It’s ingrained in me from being around…