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Maple Buzz Cafe: Coffee + maple syrup + honey

Mother-daughter duo open coffee shop on Riverside Drive in De Pere

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June 17, 2024

DE PERE – “It’s a dream come true,” Theresa Baroun said of the opening of Maple Buzz Cafe.

Theresa, along with her daughter Alicia Baroun, recently opened the coffee shop on Riverside Drive in De Pere – however, the idea behind the cafe, she said, has been “a long time coming.”

Six degrees

The mother-daughter duo also own Maple Buzz, a local maple syrup and honey specialty product business that Theresa founded in 2017.

Alicia came on board with Maple Buzz shortly after and the pair had been creating a variety of maple and honey specialty products – utilizing the honey from its eight on-site beehives and the maple syrup from its sister company, Maple Sweet Dairy – a 160-acre, fourth-generation family farm in De Pere, which Theresa owns with her husband, Jon.

Some of those products include bourbon maple syrup, maple cream, maple cotton candy and coffee.

Theresa said Maple Buzz Cafe is an extension of what they were doing with Maple Buzz – rooted in their shared passions of coffee, honey and maple syrup.

“We wanted to take our products to the next level,” she said. 

Not only will some of Maple Buzz products be available at the cafe, but Theresa said they will also be integrated into some of its menu items.

Making a go at it

When Maple Buzz was created, Theresa said the long-term plan always included the possibility of a cafe.

“Alicia worked at a coffee shop and has always wanted to open her own coffee shop,” Theresa said. “We always wanted to do more with our maple syrup and honey. We wanted to show all the unique ways to enjoy it.”

Theresa and Alicia Baroun

Theresa said when Alicia graduated from the business entrepreneurship program at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay last year, the duo decided to finally make it happen.

The biggest challenge, she said, was finding an adequate space for the cafe.

After two years of searching for a location, Theresa said the perfect one came up, and “we were able to open in May.”

The building at 3718 Riverside Drive (formally Zesty’s), Theresa said, was the ideal location for its close proximity to the Fox River Trail and being located on a main thoroughfare.

“We had plans to build, but when we saw this property was for rent, we knew it would be a great location to get started,” she said.

Balancing the finances of the remodel, the equipment, the staff, etc., Theresa said, was also a hurdle.

“You have to be cost-effective in the world today,” she said. “We did much of the remodeling work ourselves to keep the cost down.”

A peek at the menu

Theresa said Maple Buzz Cafe works with Village Roasters in Ashwaubenon to roast the honey, maple and bourbon coffee it offers.

Not only is it used to create a variety of on-site coffee drinks – from the basics (americanos, cappuccinos and cold brews) to specialty drinks (maple buzz latte, maple iced coffee and hot honey latte) – Maple Buzz Cafe also has bagged coffee available for purchase.

In addition to coffee, the cafe also offers other beverages, including tea, apple cider, honey lemonade and smoothies.

The menu also offers breakfast and lunch options – including hot and cold sandwiches, open-faced bagels, wraps, salads and soups.

“We have a specialty grilled cheese sandwich that comes with your choice of dipping sauces – we have maple balsamic or honey maple vinaigrette,” she said.

Theresa said the cafe also has monthly specials, which are to “keep offering variety to customers.”

June coffee specials, she said, include:

  • Summer Lovin’ Latte – white chocolate and brown butter toffee
  • Summer Buzzin’ Latte – raw honey and lavender
  • Kickin’ Cow Blender – white chocolate, dark chocolate and espresso
  • Tiramisu Chai – spiced chai and tiramisu
  • Tropical Smoothie – mango and piña colada
  • Pink Tropics Lotus – pineapple and pink lotus
  • Margarita Lotus – habanero lime, white lotus and more lime

“Next month we will add food specials,” she said.

Though the cafe doesn’t offer as many ice cream options as the building’s predecessor, Theresa said there are ice cream options on the menu – including a maple root beer float.

Two bees in a hive

Being business partners in Maple Buzz and now Maple Buzz Cafe, the mother-daughter duo said, has worked well.

“It’s cool I can work with my daughter every day,” she said.

Maple Buzz Cafe is open 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 7 a.m. to noon Saturday. Chris Rugowski Photo

Alicia said they have always gotten along well and enjoy doing things together – “so why not work together?”

“It is going well, and we agree on most things,” she said. “It is easy to work with my mom because we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and can build on that.” 

The pair said as for job duties – Alicia is the coffee maker and Theresa is the chef.

“We work together to fulfill customer orders,” Alicia said. 

Alicia said she also focuses on the cafe’s marketing and accounting side of the business.

The Barouns said they prepare Maple Buzz products during off hours and will also be committing time to Maple Buzz at the De Pere Farmers Market.

Maple Buzz Cafe is open 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 7 a.m. to noon Saturday.

The cafe is closed Sunday and Monday.

For more, visit maplebuzzcafe.com.

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