Out the Kitchen Window

“Closed until further notice.”

These four words are no surprise to anyone, anywhere, this Spring. The spread of COVID-19 across the world has caused the closure and cancellation of restaurants, sports, festivals, concerts, and small businesses everywhere. It’s no longer a matter of “if” your favorite local eatery has closed, but “when,” (if they haven’t already).

The situation at the Coffee Corner Bistro in Kewaskum, Wisconsin was much the same. Quickly though, they adapted, creating a “Pop-Up Cafe” outside the cafe’s kitchen window. In addition to the sudden, additional task of helping her three sons with online schooling, owner Jessica Trunkel tried to continue providing a slice of normalcy with homemade bakery items and locally-sourced coffee to Kewaskum residents.

Trunkel took to Instagram on March 18 with the melancholy message: “Sadly…it is in everyone’s best interest that we temporarily close the cafe in an effort to help ‘flatten the curve.’” Loyal customers expressed their sadness in the comments, but less than two days later, a new image was posted online: a smiling employee, handing a mug of coffee to a customer out of the window. “WINDOW SERVICE AVAILABLE,” the caption in ALL CAPs excitedly announced! She went on to say that the entire drink menu, as well as many bakery items and bulk coffee grounds were available to purchase. All customers had to do was message Coffee Corner on Instagram to place an order.

“You guys are the best!!!!” one commenter wrote under the announcement. “We miss Coffee Corner so much, my 3-year-old keeps asking to walk there,” wrote another. Others tagged their friends to spread the word.

On Saturday, March 21, from 7-10am, patrons in the small town of 4,000 could stop by and support a small business during this unexpected time of closings, layoffs and possible foreclosures. The Bistro had made enough bakery items for passers-by to walk up and place orders, too.

Two days later, they held another Pop-Up Cafe to fill the caffeine needs of those they’d missed on Saturday; the following weekend, they were at it again.

Until they can once again open their doors without any worry of the coronavirus, the Coffee Corner Bistro will continue to provide Pop-Up service. Customers should call during business hours: Monday-Friday 6AM-to-7PM; Saturday-Sunday 7AM-to-7PM. Call 262-626-1800 or message them on Facebook or Instagram to order.

Story authored by: Grace Merkt

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