Doug Scheibe started a coffeehouse in Ely because he didn’t want to leave. “I had a job that I knew didn’t have a future and I wanted to stay in Ely,” he says. Moving to the canoe town in 2000, Doug opened Front Porch Coffee and Tea Co. in May of 2005.
Northern Grounds was the only other coffee shop in town, but Doug says “I didn’t want to be in conflict. I wanted to offer something that they didn’t, like Internet access, overstuffed chairs, wraps, and quiche.” The quiche, a favorite menu item is made fresh year round, and eight to 10 different types are generally available.
Doug says that he has always liked good coffee and would like to install a coffee roaster in the future. Currently the Front Porch is serving coffee from Equal Exchange. TeaSource supplies the Front Porch with an array of teas that are custom labeled with names like the Ely Gold, a black tea blended with orange blossom and other infusions.
The Front Porch stays open through the winter, hanging mugs on the wall for the regulars who are hardy enough to live in Ely during the coldest months of the year. Once summer arrives, the Front Porch will be open later and the cups of coffee poured will be more numerous as paddlers and seasonal workers look for a quality brew.
Come summer, Pat Surface with the Boundary Water Boys will be playing at the Front Porch every Tuesday, as part of the city Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Tuesday Nite Live, a local event that includes about eight local establishments featuring music. Last summer the Front Porch had crowds of 500-700.
Front Porch Coffee and Tea Co.
343 East Sheridan St
Ely, MN 55731
OWNER: Doug Scheibe
ENTREE RANGE: ($5 Avg.)