DIXON – Shelly Brantley has a crush on coffee, so much so that she decided to make a business out of it.
Coffee Crush is open at 122 N. Peoria Ave. across from Dixon High School.
Since she opened Dec. 20, Brantley has seen her custom-built tables and chairs on both floors fill with people enjoying a morning or afternoon brew.
“It’s good any time of day,” the 46-year-old Dixon native said. “Wake up in the morning to have some, have a little caffeine kick in the afternoon, and that’s good, too.”
It’s a drink that comes in many flavors and concoctions, with endless possibilities.
“There are so many different things you can do with coffee,” she said.
The menu doesn’t stop at coffee: Coffee Crush serves espressos, teas, drinks, and fresh-to-order pastries and sandwiches prepared by a team of 11 baristas.
Most coffee comes from Counter Culture, a roaster based in Durham, North Carolina, but the crew also has made some unique mixes.
One drink that’s become a surprise hit is Milkadamia, concocted by barista Greta Harrington, 19, of Dixon. It is a mocha tea latte with vanilla syrup and macadamia nut milk.
“When I first tasted it, I didn’t really like it because it was hot and it tasted like grass,” Harrington said. “I then wanted to do it iced because I like iced drinks and add vanilla because it adds sweetness and intensifies the milk flavor.”
Each day offers a different pastry on the menu, as well as the “Barista’s Crush of the Day,” which recently included another mix from Harrington: a watermelon mango smoothie.
Belgian waffles come Liege-style, made from dough, not batter, with pearls of Belgian sugar baked right in that melts and caramelizes with the waffle. No syrup needed.
Cara Harden, 31, of Dixon visited Monday and enjoyed the setting and her caramel butterscotch latte.
“It’s got a good balance. It’s not too sweet, and it’s frothy on top.”
Brantley has owned the building, formerly home to Domino’s Pizza, for almost 2 years, and before that, it was an arcade and a dairy.
The wood tables, chairs and wall decor all were made and furbished at the Brantley family garage with her husband, Kris. They wanted Coffee Crush to be a spot where people can enjoy their drink and feel comfortable.
“It was really a labor of love,” she said. “We made most everything in here ourselves. It’s been a big process, but it’s been fun.”
Coffee Crush, 122 N. Peoria Avenue, is open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Find Coffee Crush on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; go to coffeecrushdixon.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.