Serving Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

Burly Coffee Cafe brews good taste in Cannon Falls, Minn.

By heather thorstensen

Date Modified: 09/28/2009 2:41 PM

E-mail article | Print version

Burly Coffee Cafe

Address: 1108 5th St. N Cannon Falls, Minn.

Hours: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; closed Sunday. May be open at other times for special events.

Best seller: Their fresh, in-house roasted coffee is $1.60 for a small, $1.80 for medium and $2 for large. They have up to 10 blends.

Call them at: (507) 263-0905

CANNON FALLS, Minn. -- People who travel north through 4th Street in Cannon Falls and go a little farther past the main drag, the rivers and the railroad tracks, may stumble upon a coffee shop that looks nothing like one.

In a green warehouse, where people still sharpen saws in the back, a front room has been transformed into Burly Coffee Cafe. It seats 30 and serves coffee, breakfast, lunch and Saturday brunches. A tin ceiling and dark cherry wood give the place a French bistro atmosphere.

"We're in a warehouse," said owner Roger Parrish-Siggelkow. "It kind of takes people by surprise."

Coffee beans are roasted in the back by Kevin Norwood, the former owner. He started the Burly brand in 2007.

"We're known primarily for our fresh-roasted coffee on site," said Parrish-Siggelkow, who took ownership Sept. 1. "It's the freshest coffee people can buy."

Norwood wanted to create a place where people could taste the coffee, a brand specific to southeast Minnesota, and eventually sell the joe in other locations. He also runs another coffee business, Roaster Direct.

When a partner who was supposed to run the cafe no longer wanted the job, Norwood partnered with Parrish-Siggelkow, who has past experience at Caribou Coffee. He was also half of a children's music group, The Flyers, and a pastor.

"I like coffee, I like music and I like helping people," Parrish-Siggelkow said. "My idea here is to serve people a great cup of coffee and a great sandwich with a smile."

A customer came in one day and commented that the place seemed too "fancy pants." The terminology made an impression. It seemed a fitting contrast of the manly name "Burly" and the sophisticated cafe.

"On the menu, we're running the Burly side and the fancy pants side," said Parrish-Siggelkow. For example, a Burly option would be a Philly roast beef steak sandwich for $6.95 and a fancy pants selection would be a Greek salad for the same price. They are, however, sticking with their Burly motto for sandwich portions, which Parrish-Siggelkow described as generous.

Breakfast includes muffins, scones and "really great coffee cake." Lunch entrees, ranging from $4.95 to $6.95, are sandwiches, soups and salads prepared by their chef, David Van Eijl, who was an owner and chef at the former Rochester restaurant, Avocados.

"We have a very well-respected chef," Parrish-Siggelkow said.

Saturday brunches includes crepes, waffles and quesadillas.

Parrish-Siggelkow plans to turn a back room into a concert hall and art gallery in the next year or two. The hall would seat 40-50 people for performances by folk artists or jazz ensembles. He and his wife, Marnie, and three adult children, Erin, Ry and Charlie, may also perform their folk-rock music there.

He also plans to host special events. They already held a fundraiser to support a local artist/musician's aspirations for art school and had a full house.

It's hoped the cafe will become a destination spot.

"I think the music will do that, when people find out how great the coffee is and how friendly the people are," Parrish-Siggelkow said.

-- Heather Thorstensen

If you have a favorite restaurant that you would like to have featured in Agri News, drop us a note. You can write us at Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903. Or you can call us at (507) 285-7659 or e-mail Agri News staff writer .