She works with Cafe Imports in Minneapolis to ensure their beans are ethically produced and harvested. She said it costs a bit more, but it’s worth it to know those who grow the beans are being paid fairly.

“It makes our coffee better, and I always say it’s literally made with love every step of the process,” she said.

Gilbertson also plans to partner with guest roasters from local coffee shops like Young Blood Coffee Co.

“We’ll offer their coffee as a batch brew as well. I’m all about promoting specialty coffee as a concept to the novice coffee drinker,” she said.

Let’s brunch

Black Coffee and Waffle got its start in 2014 when Brad Cimaglio and his business partners re-branded Muddsuckers, a small coffee shop that sold food in the southeast Como neighborhood of Minneapolis. As the name suggests, they decided to slim down the menu to focus solely on waffles and coffee. The concept took off and the partners opened a second location in St. Paul in 2016.

Gilbertson said the Fargo location is modeled after the restaurant in St. Paul. The space features high ceilings and garage-door type windows that can be opened when the weather is right and the construction noise from the nearby Block 9 Plaza is not too loud. The restaurant also features artwork from local artists like Meghan Duda, whose photos presently adorn the west wall.

Project manager Keli Gilbertson opens one of the garage door-style windows at Black Coffee and Waffle Bar on Friday, May 3, at 550 2nd Ave. N., Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Project manager Keli Gilbertson opens one of the garage door-style windows at Black Coffee and Waffle Bar on Friday, May 3, at 550 2nd Ave. N., Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

One thing that is different about the Fargo Black Coffee and Waffle is that it serves beer and wine.

“We’re not trying to be a bar,” Gilbertson said. “We’re trying to be a place to have a beer after work, to stretch out when you’re doing a big project, for groups to come study, for big brunches on the weekend.”

Gilbertson said Black Coffee and Waffle is tapping an underserved market here.

“Why doesn’t Fargo love brunch?” Gilbertson asked. “You guys are getting there. I’ve found a few places that do amazing brunch, but I’m surprised that there isn’t more, especially downtown. We’re excited to be here for downtown. We’re excited to be there for that late-night crowd looking for something to do that maybe isn’t drinking in the bars.”

BUSINESS PROFILE

What: Black Coffee and Waffle

Where: 550 2nd Ave. N. in Fargo

Contact: 701-566-8749

Online: www.blackcoffeeandwaffle.com

Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday