When it comes to cafes, what more could you ask for than homemade pastries, sandwiches, salads and the smell of freshly ground coffee? Well it’s not just the smell of the coffee that you should stop by and enjoy! Swede Hollow cafe on the East side of St. Paul embodies everything you’d want in a cafe, as well as locally roasted and freshly ground and brewed coffee. When you visit, you’ll also want to check out the outdoor garden dining area as well.
Swede Hollow Cafe is nestled in the circa 1884 Stuzman building on the East side of St. Paul. Although the cafe has been up and running for 13 years now, Wes Linstrom bought the coffee shop 6 years ago, and from the looks of it, he’s enjoying a very busy and happy ownership.
“I’m a coffee guy!” Wes says. “I love coffee, and unlike other cafes, I really care about how our coffee tastes. If a press (of espresso) is older than 10 seconds, out it goes.” Wes prides himself on fresh taste, fresh ingredients, and everything made from scratch.
“Our homemade caramel cinnamon rolls and scones are what we’re known for,” says Wes. And as you look around the cafe, you can see from what many customers are enjoying that this seems to be the case. Covered in buttery caramel and pecans, Swede Hollow’s award winning warm caramel cinnamon rolls melt in your mouth with every bite. Their bill of fare is extensive with delicious breakfast items, (extra specials on Saturdays), as well as bistro sandwiches for lunch. Summer Drinks are plentiful in the form of Housemade lemonade, ice teas, coffee smoothies, and French sodas.
The rustic wood interior of the cafe is just right for sipping a fabulous latte made with love, (evidenced by a beautiful heart swirled in the creamy topping). But a look out the window, and you’ll be beckoned to the lovely outdoor dining area as well. Surrounded by flowers, rose bushes, a community garden and a calming water fountain, this outdoor oasis is a welcome surprise from the city beyond.
“This is why I come here,” says a loyal Saturday customer as he looks around and surveys the surroundings. “It’s so relaxing to sit and drink a great cup of coffee and enjoy the best cinnamon rolls around,” he says with a smile. And on this particular Saturday, there wasn’t an empty table within sight. Local businessmen and women alike enjoy the generous dining area, and can bring their whole office in for a fastastic afternoon lunch or meeting. Box lunches are available to go, or dine in with the whole gang.
Each table has a vintage jar or coffee can filled with silverware and napkins. Bus tubs are available for your dishes, and emptied regularly. With 9 employees, Wes keeps things in top running order, clean, neat and ready for the next customer who may just be stopping by for the free WIFI offered and a joe to go.
Original artwork graces the brick walls of this cozy joint, as well as a community advertising board, and Swede Hollow logo t-shirts for sale. Mugs are also available, and stand next to a digital picture frame that shows you exactly what this place is all about. Specials are shown, and numerous awards that have been won by the cafe such as Best patio, and one of the top 57 breakfasts in St. Paul.
The cafe is open for business Monday through Friday, 6:30am to 3pm and Saturday, 8am to 2pm.
So, don’t miss one of the most enjoyable and delicious coffee experiences just up the hill from the Metropolitan University in St. Paul. Come by and visit Wes and his crew at 725 E. 7th Street, or stop in at their website, www.swedehollowcafe.com to get a little more of an idea of just how much of a gem this little cafe is. You won’t be disappointed, and you’ll definitely leave satisfied!