Meet my friend David Hartnett, co-owner of the Dunn Bros in Farmington, Minnesota. David has a passion for coffee and for serving the needs of those around him.
I attended a music event at Dunn Bros on a Friday evening. It was the first time I had ever been to this Dunn Bros in Farmington. There is a Caribou Coffee, Starbucks and a Dunn Bros within 5 minutes of my home, much closer then this location. The only reason I was at this particular Dunn Bros was because a friend of mine was playing with his band and invited me to come out. I had driven by this place many times but never found the need to stop in because it was at least 20 minutes from my home. Everything changed that evening!
I was immediately greeted by David and his business partner Kirk Zeaman. David asked me what I wanted and asked me my name. (Which, by the way, has never happened at any other coffee shop I've ever been in.) I received my drink with a smile and was thanked for coming in. I found a seat and enjoyed an evening of music. As I was about to leave, David said, “Steve, thanks for coming in and hope to see you back soon.” I was blown away. He remembered my name. I thought to myself, “That was really an amazing experience”.
Guess what? I went back the following week during the day and again, was greeted by name with a smile. I ordered a Vanilla Latte and David said, “Have a seat and I will bring it over.” I said, “Really”? David said they serve all of their customers this way. I will never forget what he said next, “Fun at the Dunn, it's our house rule.”
I have gotten to know David over the past couple of months. I wanted to learn more about how he arrived at where he's at. I'm always interested in other peoples story. David told me he had been a customer of Dunn Bros for three years. He heard that in July of 2010 the previous owners were going to shut it down for lack of business. David and his business partner Kirk decided buy it. I asked him why? He told me he loves coffee and he didn't want to see the people that he had come to enjoy lose their jobs, so they bought it. Since taking over, their revenue has grown consistently, which doesn't surprise me. I heard a wise man once say, “It's easier to innovate than it is to compete.” So true.
I have made Dunn Bros in Farmington my second office. I love going there. When I go there I don't feel like a number or processed like a heard of cattle. The atmosphere is inviting and laid back. I can sit there for hours and enjoy a cup of coffee, food, quiet time, working on projects and getting to know the other customers. By the way, when David is not there, Don and the rest of the staff follow in his same footsteps. Remember this, it all starts at the top!
Thanks David, Kirk and staff for making it truly an enjoyable experience. If you are ever traveling south on highway 3 headed towards Farmington, Minnesota, stop in and say high and enjoy the best cup of coffee around with a “First Class” experience! Who knows, I may see you there!
What could you do to wow your customers?