The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Open for business


Larry Holcombe/Daily Globe

EARL GORDON, of Ironwood, purchases a cup of coffee from Austin Danielson, 14, of Ironwood, at his roadside coffee stand at the corner of Lake and Florence streets Friday afternoon.

IRONWOOD — Some kids spend their spring break visiting grandma’s house. Others are able to enjoy a trip to Florida, which maybe also includes a trip to grandma’s house.

Still others fashion the week closer to home resting from a long winter’s study, waking up sometime around noon and spending the rest of the day on the couch playing Xbox.

Ironwood seventh graders Austin Danielson, 14, and Jayson Pietrocatelli, 13, had a different idea Friday. They went into business.

They opened a coffee shop on the northwest corner of Lake and Florence streets at about 11 a.m. Friday. In what looked more like a lemonade stand than a Starbucks, business was brisk on a cool, yet sunny day.

Their friend Trinity Duncan, 13, also a seventh grader, visiting from Eagle River, Wis., joined the business venture.

As cars pulled up to the corner on busy Lake Street, and just a block north of U.S. 2, the young entrepreneurs jumped into action. Most customers were served without even getting out of the car.

The menu was simple — one item: 75 cents for a cup of coffee according to the handprinted, bright orange signs slapped up on three sides of the small structure.

“We have complimentary Irish cream creamer, too,” said Pietrocatelli.

“And the pine cones are free, too,” said Danielson, adding they were added to decorate the counter of the shop.

No business comes without start-up costs and while much of the restaurant’s structure was salvaged from a remodeling project from Pietrocatelli’s basement, the lads had laid out some capital to get things going.

“$200 for the generator, that keeps the coffee hot and works the light,” said Pietrocatelli.

Light? Yes, they wired an outlet for the pot and a single light bulb fastened to the counter with a switch for “when its gets dark,” said Danielson.

Other purchases included three 2-by-4s to shore up the stand, coffee ($5), a box of Irish creamers ($9), styrofoam cups ($3) and filters ($3).

“We don’t have a business license,” admitted Pietrocatelli.

Just before 5 p.m., the owners were unsure how long they would stay open. As a matter of fact, the business still had no name, but the cars kept stopping. There was coffee to sell and pine cones to hand out.

“This is pretty nice,” said Earl Gordon, of Ironwood, with a smile, as he leaned out the car window parked along Florence, making change with Danielson and receiving his coffee, Irish creamer and pine cone.


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