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Young entrepreneur brews up idea for new business here

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HARTINGTON — Elsie Driver wants to give Hartington a wake up call.

She is planning to open her new downtown coffee shop Aug. 5.

The 16-year-old rural Hartington girl will open the new coffee house, Elsie’s Sassy Brew, in the Uptown Charm building. The building was previously

The building was previously home to a coffee shop when Dean and Brenda Dowling operated one there from 2010-2013.

The former Hartington Hotel barista was itching for a good latte after the hotel closed due to COVID-19, so she took it into her own hands.

She pitched the idea of starting her own business to her parents — Dale and Christina Driver — and the idea turned into a plan.

Elsie’s Sassy Brew will temporarily be located inside Uptown Charm, but after renovations, the shop will move to the back of the building in the former Cedar County News print shop. She plans on keeping the industrial feel that the room already has, while making it her own.

“It will take a lot of time and work,” she said, “but I’m excited to start the process. It’s going to be so cool when it’s done.”

The last week of July, she attended a class in Urbandale, Iowa, to learn more about different coffees, teas and sodas. She will be getting her coffee beans from Fredericks, a roaster in Iowa.

“I’ve tried so many different types of espresso and coffee this week so I could pick out what I want for my shop,” she said, “I picked out a Christmas flavored roast, and it smells like eggnog and gingerbread. I’ve been drinking it every morning.”

The shop will sell hot and iced espresso drinks, tea and Italian sodas.

The hours aren’t set yet, but she plans on opening sometime around 7:30 in the morning.

”I love helping people find their favorite drink and helping them try new things” she said, ”that’s my favorite part of this job.”

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