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Ten Pennies for your thoughts

New Internet cafe in Oregon works hard to cater to customers

Published: Saturday, March 1, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Chris Johnson/
Cindy Hunter makes espressos during one of her first shifts at Ten Pennies Internet Cafe in Oregon. The new shop is having a soft opening now as staff trains on making coffee, espressos, hot chocolate and mixed drinks. The business has a liquor license and will serve cocktails.
(Chris Johnson/
Manager Lynn Swanson (center) has been helping to train the staff at Ten Pennies Internet Cafe in Oregon. A grand opening is planned after about a month of soft opening for training and to tailor hours to customers' wants.

OREGON – The city's newest business offers a relaxing and bright atmosphere to enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry while browsing the Internet.

Ten Pennies Internet Cafe, 210 S. Fourth St., is in a soft opening, while the staff is trained on making the selection of coffee, espressos, hot chocolate, and mixed drinks.

You must be at least 21 to be a Ten Pennies customer. The business was granted a liquor license and will serve cocktails.

The business also has a second area with five video gaming machines.

"The set-up for this cafe is the best of both worlds," co-owner Gary Wright said. "One side is bright and good for socializing or using the Internet, and the other is darker to allow for the gaming."

He said numerous electrical outlets were added at every table to allow for phones and Internet devices to be charged.

"We have Wi-Fi Internet and some hard-wired spots available for our customers," co-owner David Flynn said.

The owners are planning a grand opening ceremony after a month of soft opening.

"We are working hard on training our staff and getting ready," Wright said.

During this soft opening, the entire compliment of drinks on the menu will be offered. 

This time also allows the owners to customize the coffee and other drinks based on local preferences.

"We hope the community likes our business," Flynn said. "It takes time to determine what the community wants and likes. We are experimenting with a coffee blend and roast that will be a signature item on the menu."

"We want to be part of this community," Wright said.

Ten Pennies' hours will change during the soft opening, as the owners determine when the community would like the business to be open.

"We like this community, and everyone that has stopped in has made us feel welcome," Wright said.

Despite opening during a difficult economy, the owners are optimistic they will succeed in Oregon.

"I talked to my daughter Molly in Milwaukee and went on a tour of coffee shops," Flynn. said "These shops knew their customers and we want to know our customers."

It took them more than a year to open the cafe.

"We are learning about coffee and different roasts," Flynn said. "Visiting the other coffee shops helped with our learning process."

Products by Rockford coffee roaster Java Mania will be served.

"They have been helpful the entire process with teaching us about the subtle differences in coffee blends," Flynn said.

The shop's decor is a variety of antiques with modern touches. One table has old jurors chairs from the Lee County Courthouse. Other furniture was purchased at area antique stores.

Tere are plans to add an outdoor railing and some seating when the weather warms.

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