Coffee shop fills void on College Hill - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Coffee shop fills void on College Hill

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

For over 12 years, an empty lot has created a void between businesses at Cedar Falls' College Hill neighborhood. Stebs, a music venue and the last building to stand on the property, was demolished in 2001.

Sidecar Coffee opened its doors November 16, finally filling the long-time gap.

Before Sidecar was conceived, the College Hill Partnership surveyed the neighborhood to see what type of business people desired. A coffee shop was at the top of the list.

Entrepreneurs Jed Vander Zanden, Andy Fuchtman, and Brent Dahlstrom decided to take on the venture. Vander Zanden would head up the roasting. Dahlstrom would lead the business side. Fuchtman would manage the coffee shop. None of them had any experience selling coffee, but it did not stop them from making their vision a reality.

Fuchtman spent the last six months practicing making drinks at a local business, Visual Logic, that recently bought a commercial espresso machine. In exchange for learning the trade, he provided Visual Logic employees with their own barista. He admits the first few batches were undrinkable, but over time he improved and even developed a few signature drinks.

Fuchtman also reached out to Brewed Cafe in Cedar Rapids, who helped mentor him about the ins and outs of running a coffee shop.

"If we wouldn't have had all those people be so generous to us, there's no way this would have happened," said Fuchtman.

Coffee isn't the only resource found at the new location of College Hill. Sidecar partnered with the popular Scratch Bakery, who is creating baked goods catered to the coffee shop. The second floor will also house a hot yoga studio, which owners hope will open around the beginning of December.

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