Posts Tagged ‘Caribou Coffee’

Cycle through Elm Creek Park Reserve in Champlin, MNIt didn’t take long for me to devise a personal list of my top-ten things to do in Champlin. Take a look and think about your favorite things to do in our community—and then post it in the comments section.

  1. Bicycling in Elm Creek Park Reserve
    I grew up in rural Sheridan, Wyoming where bike trails are nonexistent. I had to ride on gravel roads or on the side of the road hoping I didn’t get hit by passing trucks and horse trailers. This is one of the top-ten reasons I love Minnesota; bike trails are everywhere! I feel so fortunate.
  2. Walking along the Mississippi River in Donie Galloway Park
    Donie Galloway Park isn’t your traditional park. It’s a big, open field with trails that follow the Mississippi River—a hidden gem really. 
  3. Swimming at the Elm Creek Reserve swimming pond
    It’s so clean! I love riding bike through Elm Creek Park to the swimming pond on a hot day, and then jumping in. It’s worth paying $20 for a season family pass. Or you can pay $2 per person per day. It is open Memorial Day through Labor Day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  4. Walking to Caribou Coffee for a cappuccino
    I love walking, and now there are sidewalks from my house to Caribou Coffee. I get exercise and a cappuccino. What more could I ask for: more trash bins along the path, perhaps. 
  5. Having a beer and miniburgers at Maverick’s Woodgrill 
  6. Taking my dog to the Elm Creek Off-Leash Dog Park 
  7. Picking strawberries at Bauer’s Berry Farm
    Bauer Berry Farm offers the finest in strawberries, blueberries, and sweet corn; pick your own, or purchase picked fruit fresh from the field!
  8. Watching a movie at Champlin Mann Theatre
  9. Ice skating at the Champlin Ice Forum
  10. Visiting the observatory at Jackson Middle School 

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Panera Bread Web Site PhotoI’ve written a few posts regarding the many multi-tenant commercial retail buildings that are still empty. I’ve written about other businesses that have also noted this as a concern. So, now is the time to reframe the situation: What can we do as Champlin residents? E-mail your favorite businesses that have not yet moved to the area! Tell them why we need them.

I’d like to start with my plea for Panera Bread.  Their mission is “A loaf of bread for every arm.” Well, I don’t have a loaf (do you?), so my mission is: “A loaf of bread for every arm in Champlin!” That’s right. We want a bakery—fresh bread, made-to-order sandwiches and bread bowls filled with French onion soup.

Here are a few reasons why Panera Bread should open their 26th bakery-cafe in Champlin.

  1. Champlin has no bread store, no small cafe-type restaurant. Yes, all of our coffee shops such as Caribou Coffee and Dunn Brothers offer bakery items and some sandwiches, but they are coffee shops. Champlin needs what Panera describes as a bakery-cafe with fresh bread and made-to-order sandwiches.
  2. There is a location Panera Bread could easily move into: The Highway 169 Retail Center. It has two end-unit restaurant pads with many windows, a drive through, an outdoor patio, and it faces Highway 169. According to the web site, there are more than 37,000 cars who drive by its location on a daily basis, and I can attest to that traffic because I get stuck in it on my way home each day. And, I would be willing to bet my car there is more traffic in the summer when people are headed up North to their lake homes—people who might be looking for a healthier alternative to lunch at McDonald’s or perhaps some fresh bread to take with them on their trip.

Help me out, Champlin! You want a loaf too. Post your comment on why we need Panera Bread. E-mail this link to their Contact Us page. While you are inspired, what other businesses do you think Champlin needs? Post it in the comments.

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Champlin’s Mann Theatre by Laurence JohnsonBesides eating mini burgers and drinking Newcastle Brown Ale at Maverick’s Wood Grill, I also enjoy watching a movie at Champlin’s Mann 14 Movie Theatre. And, on Fridays, as I drive north past the theatre on Highway 169 after a long day at work, I wonder: What movies are playing? And, there’s no sign, no movie-theatre-big-flashing-lights-and-marquee to inform me.

I asked Steve Mann, president and owner of Mann Theatres, based in Bloomington, why they have no marquee or movie posters on the front of the building, as most movie theatres do (view an example of the marquee on their St. Louis Park location).

The cost-benefit test: Is Champlin worth it?
Mann says his theatre was one of the first businesses to move into the commercial development between Elm Creek Parkway and 117th Avenue in Champlin—before Caribou Coffee, Moonrock Bar & Grill, and Buffalo Wild Wings were built.

At the time, Mann had used all of their allotted sign space. As the area began to develop, and Caribou Coffee and Mobil were built, he requested the City of Champlin allow him to add a new sign.

“As you drive north on 169, you can’t see the theatre from the road until you pass Caribou Coffee,” said Mann. “We wanted to build a pylon-type sign at the edge of our parking lot that would be lit at night.” After persuading the City to allow them to build it, Mann sent out a request for bids. “Needless to say, I was shocked,” he said. The bid for installation was $62,000—and that was three years ago.

How about simply adding a marquee to the face of the building above the door or hanging posters and movie times on the side of the building? Mann said posters are difficult to maintain, and he said many new theatres aren’t using traditional marquees; most now use scrolling, digital ones (which he’d prefer, but he has not yet pursued for Champlin). Each theatre is encouraged to post a list of shows and times on the front door for patrons; however, there was no sign on the door when I visited on April 3. Otherwise Mann suggested viewing shows and times online or calling 763-712-9955.

Deputy City Administrator John Cox said the City requested more signage from Mann Theatres, which is rare to do. “The City of Champlin has had several discussions with the Mann’s regarding the sign, but we have been told the cost is prohibitive or at least, has not met the cost-benefit test.”

Build it, and they will come—at least not yet
Mann says he was hopeful more restaurants would move into the area, especially since Target opened in to Champlin, just north of their theatre location. “That usually brings more business to a community,” he said. However, he noted, there seems to be a lot of small, community banks instead.

Most of the multi-residential buildings near the theatre sit empty or unfinished, with only Moonrock Bar and Grill and Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants open after years of development. And Cox says he has “very little news” about future developments. (Also, read the 9/07 posting regarding multi-tenant commercial retail in Champlin).

Theatres, signs, popcorn and gas prices (Yes, they really are related)
Mann says he’s concerned. Not only has development slowed in Champlin, but also, the increased gasoline prices are impacting everything including the oil they use for the popcorn (Mann says a barrel of popcorn oil used to cost $47, and now because of gas prices it has increased to $101).

Does all of this mean they won’t consider adding signage in the future? No, but it won’t happen any time soon. For now, he doesn’t believe the benefit of adding signage outweighs the cost.

So, there’s no marquee or poster signs, and popcorn oil prices have increased? That won’t stop me from going to the movies this Friday and munching on a bag of lightly-buttered $101-per-barrel-of-oil movie-theatre popcorn. See you there!

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Pay it Forward is a movie, based on a novel, with a concept I’ll never forget. A young boy named Trevor is assigned a social studies project to come up with a plan to change the world through direct action. Trevor’s plan is to “pay it forward” by doing a good deed for Cairbou Coffee in Champlin, MNthree people who must in turn each do good deeds for three other people. It’s a great concept, one you hope to continue from the big screen to the community. And, in small ways, it happens—even at Caribou Coffee in Champlin.

One day it might happen to you.

You place your order at the drive-through window, “I’ll have a medium, skim cappuccino with half a shot of Irish cream, please.” It’s $3.55. You drive up to the window with cash in hand, and the cashier says with a big smile, “Put your money away. The person in front of you paid for your drink, and told me to tell you to have a nice day.”  

Is it just a fluke. Is it someone you know? People don’t just buy a stranger a coffee at a drive-through? They do in Champlin. It has happened to me three times, paid for by three anonymous people.

The cashier tells me it’s a concept related to paying it forward. People buy a drink for the person behind them, and they do the same for someone else. It is a chain reaction.  She isn’t sure when it started at the drive through, but the idea has caught on. “It happens once, and then suddenly everyone is paying for each other’s drinks for about a week.”

Let’s get real. Buying someone’s coffee won’t change the world; in fact, one could say it’s contributing to a caffeine addiction. What is real:  Small, random acts of kindness that create a ripple effect, a motion of doing something positive for someone else that continues. And, it’s happening in our community.

And, the answer is yes, I’ve paid it backward too. Perhaps I bought your drink yesterday. 

Acts of kindness

Other than paying for someone’s coffee, there are many more ways to give back to our community. Below are a few ideas:

Donate 1% of your Target purchases
If you use your Target REDcard Visa to make purchases, Target will donate 1% of purchases to your school of choice. Donate yours to Champlin schools.

As of September 2007, Target reports it has donated:

  • $92,652.66 to Champlin Park High School (1785 designated it)

  • $22,819.35 to Jackson Middle School (376 designated it)

  • $29,624.91 to Oxbow Elementary (419 designated it)

  • $25848.22 to Champlin Elementary (379 designated it)

Pick up garbage
When you are at Andrew’s Park watching your child at a sporting event, walking through Elm Creek or riding bike, pick up garbage you see on the ground and throw it away. And make sure you always throw your own garbage in a trash or recycle bin.

Stop for pedestrians
If you see someone waiting to cross the street, don’t just drive by. Stop and let them cross, and wave hello (you must always stop at crosswalks if someone is waiting).

Volunteer at Champlin Shores
Contact Janet Eide by calling (763) 712-0118. You’ll need to fill out an application. Some volunteer activities include calling out Bingo numbers, playing cards, helping at resident events, and the list goes on!

What are other ways we can pay it forward (or backward) in Champlin, and make our community an even better place to live? Post your ideas in the comments section.

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