Mt Pleasant News

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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 26, 2018

‘Get your cup of Sanity’

New coffee shop opens near industrial park
Mar 22, 2018
Photo by: Grace King Chivonne Anderson and her daughter Sydney Anderson stand behind the counter at Sanity Coffee House waiting for the lunch rush on Wednesday, March 21. The coffee shop, located at 104 S. Iris St., opened earlier this month.

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


Brian and Chivonne Anderson quietly opened their coffee shop at 104 S. Iris St. earlier this month. They didn’t advertise or host a grand opening, their shop’s popularity has grown simply by word of mouth.

At the edge of an area of town dubbed the industrial park, the Anderson’s knew it was the perfect place to build their dream when they acquired the property two years ago.

Brian and Chivonne both grew up in Iowa and bounced around from Dallas, Texas, to Montana before settling down in Mt. Pleasant. In Montana, however, was where they fell in love with the local coffee shops on every corner.

“It’s my sanity,” Chivonne said. “Coffee has always been my go-to, no matter how bad my day was if I got a cup of coffee, it would brighten it.”

That’s why Chivonne decided to name her new coffee shop Sanity Coffee House. The Anderson’s are determined for their coffee shop to be successful, even selling their house to get the funds to start the business.

The couple opened Sanity for an unadvertised soft opening to give themselves time to get used to the flow. As they continue readying the coffee shop for their full opening, they plan on adding a patio in back where they will hold cook outs during the warmer months and a drive-thru.

One of the most important aspects for the Anderson’s as they prepared their coffee shop was that their ingredients were locally-sourced if possible. While Chivonne didn’t want to give away where they get their coffee and espresso beans, she said they do get their milk from Radiance Dairy in Fairfield. While many people may not consider the impact milk and cream has on the flavor of coffee, Chivonne said it is never to be underestimated.

“Some people don’t like the taste of coffee, so you have to make sure you’re blending it well with the milk,” Chivonne said. “You also have to make sure those who love coffee, they can come in and order a double espresso and still enjoy doing it.”

In addition to coffee, Sanity serves hot chocolate, pastries and sandwiches. The bread is baked by Sunrise Bakery in Bonaparte, which is an Amish bakery.

Chivonne’s menu is her own creation, with specialty drinks being a play on words from their coffee house name such as Shock Therapy, Nostalgia, Euphoria and her favorite, Peppermint Madness.

Chivonne also draws inspiration from holidays, recently releasing the Lucky Andes St. Patrick’s Day special and coming up is the Bunny Drop Frape for Easter. One even more near and dear to her heart — Forever 39, which will be released in April for her birthday.

“When you’re mixing drinks, you have to make sure you’re not overpowering one flavor. You want to have that good blend,” Chivonne said.

After only a few weeks of business, locals are already calling it their “go-to” place. With few quick restaurants and only gas station coffee available on that side of town, the people who work along S. Iris St. are the Anderson’s customer base.

That’s why they open their doors at 4:30 a.m. and don’t close until 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“We’ve had a lot of people thanking us for being up,” Brian said. “For the people working overnight shifts when they’re getting off, this place is open. People going to first shifts coming to work, this place is open.”

With only a small, easily-missed sign placed out front, the Anderson’s weren’t expecting the support and turnout in the first few weeks that they have already received.

“Our customer base are the people who are going to find this place next to a warehouse with no advertising because they want some good coffee,” Brian said.

Owning their own business means that they are the ones entirely running the show, with Chivonne working 17-hour days.

Their daughter, Sydney Anderson, who is 19-years-old, is also joining the family business, being trained by her mother in how to make all the specialty drinks. As a former employee at Keo’s in downtown Mt. Pleasant, Sydney already knows she loves the steadiness of mixing drinks. She also inherited her love for coffee from her mother.

So far, Sydney said everyone who has rated them on their Facebook page “Sanity Coffee House” has given them five stars.

“Love that. Especially when it’s your own family’s, I love hearing the positive feedback,” Sydney said.

In addition to the patio and drive-thru to come to Sanity later this year, the coffee shop will have free wifi and an “L-shaped” bar in the back for people to easily plug in their laptops and zone out, Brian said. They also will be adding a TV to plug in a PlayStation for children.

That’s how the family-run business is hoping to cater to families — by keeping them comfortable and entertained. Brian’s own father, who is an “early-morning guy,” has already made it a habit to come to Sanity early in the morning and sit with his son and play cards.

The first week they were opened, a family of eight or nine people came into Sanity and sat in the coffee house for an hour and a half, Brian said.

“They thanked us for a spot where they don’t have to feel that they need to jump up and leave. They could just hang out,” Brian said. “For me, I like to get to know people. It’s been fun.”

“We already have our regulars now and we’ve been opened less than a month,” Sydney added, saying that her friend Daniel Bishop has been making promotional videos for them and posting them to Facebook just because he loves the coffee shop and helping out the Andersons.

As Brian, Chivonne and Sydney put in the hours and ride the emotional roller coaster of building a new business, they are enjoying sharing their passion for coffee with the community. While some customers are formerly faithful McDonald’s coffee drinkers and others order a double espresso and enjoy sipping it, Brian said everyone has their reason for coming in for a brew.

“For some people, they wake up and deal with the taste, so they can get their pick-me-up. For others, they love it,” Brian said. “It’s been a labor of love.”

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