Lingonberry Llama: A New Spot for Coffee, Food, and Conversation

 

January 10, 2019

Belleville has a new business on Main Street and if the warm caffeinated cups of coffee or tea, sweet smells of bakery treats, tempting breakfast burritos and quiche, or hearty bowls of homemade soup and satisfying sandwiches don't lure you in, the cozy, inviting atmosphere, and the staff of nine will help make you a Lingonberry Llama 'regular' in no time.

Baristas make espressos, lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos or teas including chia, herbal, black, matcha, green, white, or fruited. Cold drinks also are made to order, including smoothies, frappes, and iced drinks.

"We offer a selection of fresh, homemade pastries including cinnamon rolls, caramel-pecan sticky buns, lingonberry rolls, a variety of scones, muffins, and cookies," said owner Jon Cleveland. "We also make breakfast burritos and quiche and every day we feature a sandwich and soup special. After the first of the year, we will offer cold sandwiches."

Cleveland and his family, friends, and local contractors transformed the historic building at 103 West Main Street into a comfortable, sit-down-and-enjoy coffee shop compete with vintage charm and a few llamas to keep you company.

Why llamas? In 2008, Cleveland moved to the Belleville area and remembers saying, "This place needs a coffee shop."

And you know eventually, "kismet happens."

In January of 2018, Cleveland saw the space for rent sign in the building and he approached the owner. She asked if he was interested in buying the building.

"I thought it would be a great place for a coffee shop," said Cleveland. "And I already had a name...or so I thought."

Cleveland's young daughter, Madeline, had another idea, "'Lingonberry Llama' because the family has Norwegian heritage and loves the taste of lingonberries, and llamas because Peru is the second largest exporter of coffee and has lots of llamas."


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"I never questioned it for a second," laughed Cleveland. "Later, a friend pointed out that, at the time, Peru was actually the 14th largest exporter of coffee."

One of Cleveland's favorite coffees is Wuri Natural Ethiopia from JBC Coffee Roasters in Madison, because of its aroma and flavor. The teas offered at Lingonberry Llama are from a few different sources including Somage, Rishi, and others.

"I learned a lot about coffee when my wife Scarlet and I owned a wine and cheese shop in Washington state," said Cleveland, who explained that specialty coffees are on a parallel track like specialty beer.

Cleveland explained that the first wave was a time when taste and quality was sacrificed to promote convenience and mass production. The second wave of coffee occurred when, "consumers wanted to know the origin of their coffee and understand the unique roasting styles 'specialty coffee' beans."

"Words like espresso, latte, and French press became common among lovers of specialty coffee," added Cleveland.

And the third wave is, "characterized by coffee lovers interested in the character of the coffee itself or treating beans differently for a value-added product."

"Once you experience this type of coffee, you realize that there is a lot more going on with coffee and a more natural process and the journey is just beginning," said Cleveland, who grew up in Owen-Withee near Eau Claire, and attended Northland College to study Earth Science and Liberal Arts.

Cleveland also owns Superior Analytical Instruments, which has years of experience in measurement and control of liquids and gases.

He looks forward to getting to know Lingonberry Llama customers and providing another venue for activities, i.e., cookie decorating for the holidays, and entertainment including local musicians, wine and painting nights, and more.

"If you listen to your customers, they'll tell you what they want," said Cleveland. "And you know, eventually, kismet happens."

The Lingonberry Llama is open Monday through Wednesday, 6:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m .; Thursday and Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m .; Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m .; and Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Cleveland at (608) 424-0197 or visit https://thellamacoffee.com to order online or follow Lingonberry Llama on Facebook.

 
 

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