New coffee, doughnut shop opens on South Broadway

Published 10:25 am Friday, January 7, 2022

A new coffee and doughnut shop opened this week in Albert Lea in part of the former Dairy Queen building on South Broadway. 

Called Mocha & Mini, the restaurant is owned by Albert Lean Dave Klatt and offers a full range of coffees — everything from drip coffee, mocha, latte, espresso and iced coffee to nitro coffee and specialty drinks. In addition, it offers green and black organic teas, iced hot chocolate and smoothies — with the only food item on the menu at the present time being mini doughnuts. 

Klatt, who is also a State Farm Insurance agent with an office downtown, said when he initially bought the property in 2018, he wanted the car washes on the land for storage. He didn’t know at that time what he planned to do with the old restaurant building. 

He tossed around the idea of having a Maid-Rite location but only needed about 600 square feet of space for that. 

Then he was approached by Edward Jones to have an office in about 1,200 square feet of the space, and he hoped someone would approach him about a coffee shop on the other side. 

“No one did,” he said. “So I decided I might as well.” 

Klatt said almost the entire space has been remodeled by local contractors. The only thing that remains from the former Dairy Queen is the exhaust hood. 

In addition to the kitchen area, the restaurant offers a small dining area for dine-in customers. It also has a drive-thru option, which has been popular in its first days. Klatt said he hopes to also eventually have a small meeting room available to rent. 

Klatt said he came up with the idea for the name of the restaurant while coming home from a vacation in Arizona. It was a family game to come up with great names for the coffee shop. 

The “mocha” part of the name represents the coffee, and the “mini” part of the name comes from the mini doughnuts that are for sale — which recognizes his love of mini doughnuts. 

Klatt said for 25 years he has wanted a mini doughnut machine. He wanted one in his office and then thought about getting one for special occasions and letting the school use it for fundraisers but decided against it because of the liability.

The coffee for sale through the restaurant comes from CrimsonCup, which is based out of Ohio, but utilizes coffee beans from around the world. 

Klatt said he is excited about the opportunities on the south side of town with the Peterson, Kolker, Haedt & Benda renovating the old Elks lodge, as well as the openings of Thirsty Fox and Bleachers in recent years.

“It’s fun to get this thing started, and I’m happy people have been watching for it a little bit,” he said. 

Maggie Moller, one of the baristas at the restaurant who is also helping with marketing, said she looks forward to offering nitro coffee, which has been popular with the younger generation in other cities. 

She said she had worked as a barista while in college and more recently worked at Wedgewood Cove in Albert Lea. 

Moller said for people who are lactose intolerant, Mocha & Mini offers almond milk and is hoping to add soy as an option in the future with a possibility for oak milk down the line. 

Opportunities for the mini doughnuts may also expand in the future. Presently there are plain doughnuts or doughnuts with sugar and cinnamon, but they are considering other specialties including one with a twist dough and chocolate. 

The restaurant, at 1317 SE Broadway, presently employs seven people, both full time and part time, a few of whom previously worked at Cabin Coffee and another at Starbucks. 

It will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.