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411 Fraine Barracks Road
Bismarck, ND, 58504

(701) 751-2949

Mighty Missouri Coffee Co., LLC is a specialty craft coffee roasterie in Bismarck, ND. 

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Visit the blog of Mighty Missouri Coffee Co., a specialty coffee roasterie located in Bismarck, ND.

 

Isabel Oliveira, Owner/operator at James River Cafe

Brian Jackson

 Meet Isabel, the owner and operator of James River Cafe, a new coffee shop inside the Heritage Center in Bismarck. 

Meet Isabel, the owner and operator of James River Cafe, a new coffee shop inside the Heritage Center in Bismarck. 

Mighty Missouri Coffee is proud to partner with some great shops and wonderful people. In this series, we're interviewing the folks behind some of those cafes. If you love local, be sure to support them!

How did you get into coffee?

By necessity. When the Harvest won the bid to operate the James River Cafe, one of the prerequisites was that we would have to operate a coffee shop. We had previously operated a lunch counter at the Harvest (fresh sandwiches and lots of pastries) but no coffee. We had to learn quickly!

"When you are starting
something new, it's really important
to learn the fundamentals."

You've taken courses at a place we really look up to, Intelligentsia. How has this affected your approach to coffee?

The Intelligentsia training set us on the right path and corrected a few bad habits. When you are starting something new, it's really important to learn the fundamentals. The Intelligentsia training did that. It was mostly very basic but really important stuff like fixing bitterness, getting a velvety foam, and choosing the right beans. We spend some time on the coffee extraction curve which is basically the Holy Grail. Most importantly, it gave us confidence that we can make a decent cup of coffee. I'm looking forward to more training there. Their coffee is as good as it gets.

What has been the highlight of your coffee venture so far?

The relationships we have built with new and old customers. Being in Bismarck opened a lot of new doors for us and helped the Harvest, Station West and our catering arm.

James River is affiliated with the Harvest Brazilian Grill in Mandan, Which has been raved as one of the fifteen best eats in North Dakota (http://www.movoto.com/nd/north-dakota-restaurants/) What can you tell me about serving specialty foods in North Dakota?

The Harvest has received lots of accolades over the past few years thanks to the tireless work of my husband Edgar. Serving specialty foods is difficult because you need well trained and experienced staff. That's now always easy to find... in fact it is nearly impossible in our current economy. The Harvest for example had to be closed during the summer due to staffing issues. Edgar worked hard to get some people from out of state and we now have the strongest staff we have ever had. The Harvest reopens on Sept 1 and we are very relieved. Aside from that, specialty foods may take a little longer to catch on but the people have been receptive. 

What is the best way to turn a dream of starting something into action?

I like to plan and wait for the right opportunity. My husband just does it. I say "no" to his ideas often. However, when I saw the Heritage Center I said "yes" within 30 seconds, maybe less. 

How do you overcome inevitable upsets in entrepreneurism?

The biggest lesson out of all this is resilience. In addition you must be able to manage your internal life (i.e. your feelings) very well. It's not always easy. There are a few "tell me again why are we doing this?" moments.

What are you listening to/reading right now?

Reading?! Who has time to read???

Thank you! Is there anything you'd like to add?

I should make more time to read. 

You can find James River Cafe at 612 East Boulevard, inside the Heritage Center in Bismarck.

Social: Facebook.com/James-River-Cafe

Jessica Gustafson, Head Barista at PERKS

Brian Jackson

 Meet Jessica, head barista at PERKS -- a new cafe in North Bismarck, inside the Honda dealership along Highway 83. 

Meet Jessica, head barista at PERKS -- a new cafe in North Bismarck, inside the Honda dealership along Highway 83. 

Mighty Missouri Coffee is proud to partner with some great shops and wonderful people. In this series, we're interviewing the folks behind some of those cafes. If you love local, be sure to support them!

Jessica Gustafson

 How did you get into coffee?

I'll always remember when I was about six or seven... my grandmother had all us kids sitting around the table and she served coffee in her pristine crystal mugs. It was so funny because, not even realizing it at the time, but she made the coffee so weak it was more like tea. But, from then on, I was hooked. I had my first barista job at Babb's Coffee House in Fargo while I attended college. Barbara taught me so much about different drinks. I just can't get enough!

PERKS is “Coffee with a Cause.” Can you tell me about that?

Our philosophy is simple: Keep it Fresh. Keep it Affordable. Keep it Local. Keep our guests coming back for our signature gourmet coffee, delicious pastries and tasty sandwiches, all while supporting community causes. That's what keeps us happy, and ultimately, you happy, too.

"When you bring people and good coffee
together it's a perfect recipe
for a great conversation."

 It’s been our experience that coffee does a good job of connecting people. With the social aspect to your brand, how have you seen this in action?

When you bring people and good coffee together it's a perfect recipe for a great conversation. You get to learn about their families and friends, what breed the family dog is, even what type of work they are getting done on their vehicle that day. It's great to come to work every day and talk with people and learn all about them. 

What is the most difficult part of a startup, and how have you learned to overcome it?

I think the most difficult thing about starting up Perks has been trying to pick and choose what to have on the menu. I know what I personally like, but not everyone likes what I do. So, for the most part, I try to please everyone by keeping most things simple and not giving too many choices -- just a few of all the greatest choices. 

What has been the highlight of your coffee experience so far?

The greatest experience for me is the reaction I get from someone taking their first sip of their drink. Their eyes light up and you can just tell that they are going to enjoy every last drop. Even for me, in the morning after I get all my opening duties taken care of and I get to pour my own cup, I always look up and say to myself "Seriously. . that first sip!" 

"...in North Dakota, there
has always been a sense of
community and sharing."

Has being part of a North Dakota community fostered the growth of PERKS? If so, how?

Living in North Dakota, there has always been a sense of community and sharing. It doesn't matter who you are, if you live here you you can't deny the fact it's just how it naturally is. It's great, because it's all very organic and very sincere. Here in North Dakota it's not "one for your own," but "How can I help and contribute?"

The idea of "Perks Coffee Community Cause" evolved from ideas brought together from a lot of great people at Bismarck Motor Company. It's been a great experience to work with everyone here and put all those amazing ideas to great use and for an even greater cause!

"Every month we pick
a different charity to contribute
that is local to Bismarck/Mandan."


PERKS is a brand new store in Bismarck. What are you most looking forward to down the road for the PERKS brand?

For me, the most exciting thing for Perks' future is to get the word out... we are not just a coffee shop in a car dealership (But really. . . how many of them are out there?! haha not too many. We are so unique)! We are here to help. Every month we pick a different charity to contribute to that is local to Bismarck/Mandan.

What is your favorite drink currently?

Oh boy my FAVORITE DRINK!?!? There are so many!

I would have to say I always get all gooey for a good ole fashion White Mocha latte'. They are so rich and creamy and good to the last drop. However, you can't go wrong with regular drip coffee. Gets me goin' every morning!

What are you listening to/reading?

I've recently rediscovered my love for reading. I even joined a monthly book club and we are currently reading "Yes Please" by Amy Poehler. Good stuff!! But I am also a little distracted and can't seem to read one thing at a time. I am also rereading "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, a classic book I read in college. One of my favorites. 

You can visit PERKS Coffee at 1100 57th Ave NE.
Online: Facebook.com/perksbmc

The (Christmas) Coffee Sessions

Brian Jackson

Over the past couple of weeks, some of the immensely talented friends and supporters of Mighty Missouri Coffee Co. dropped by and played some Christmas music... what came out were three beautiful, unique renditions of some holiday favorites. It's been a wonderful way to usher in the Christmas season, especially so being the first Mighty Mo Christmas ever.

Jonathan Stark "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

Nicole Elliott "O Holy Night" (Sara Groves Cover)
with Nate Speidel and Brian Jackson

Tigirlily "Winter Wonderland"

It has been a blessing to be able to further some of these passions, packaged under the "Mighty Missouri Coffee" name, with such amazing people. If you find something you really like, or one of the versions particularly strikes you, it would be huge if you'd post it to your blogs and/or social networks! Christmas season is too short, and these musicians deserve all the attention they can get!