116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — On Tuesday, Haley Kesterson of Cedar Rapids and Tucker Shephard of Ottumwa will take over Dash Coffee and rename it Tru Coffee.
Twenty-five days later, they’re getting married.
The name Tru honors Kesterson’s mother, Trudi, who died in early April and continues to serve as motivation for the pair in entrepreneurial pursuits and wanting to cultivate a connection with their community.
“When my mom passed, this is when everything kind of came into play,” Kesterson said. “She was very people-focused, she loved people, she loved community, she loved to serve people.”
Both former Dash employees, the couple plans to differentiate the space with physical changes at 287 N. Linn St. by implementing a different color palette and eventually expanding the kitchen space and reworking the bar area.
“The biggest thing that we want to (maintain) that Dash really put in place was the quality and the staff and how they treat people,” Kesterson said.
“We’re so thankful for the foundation they set for us and we’re going to take that and hopefully make it blossom and grow. Physical change is the biggest thing, but we want to keep the community, for sure.”
Community was the main driving force for Rebecca Weinbrenner, owner of Dash, when deciding to put the “for sale” sign up on the North Linn Street location.
“Dash is going to be going from a partnership to a sole proprietorship here this year and we just decided that being able to focus on one community and do our best to serve our one community is where we’re at right now,” Weinbrenner said. “With me taking over as the sole owner, I just felt spread thin, to put it best.”
Dash started in 2017 with one location in the Kingston Village area of Cedar Rapids, had a venue in Veritas Church and was able to expand to Iowa City.
“To have somebody that we trust completely and that we know have the same values for community, we’re supportive and excited for what’s going to be happening in that space,” Weinbrenner said.
Tru Coffee encourages guests to keep COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in mind when visiting, as wearing masks are recommended for those who aren’t fully vaccinated. While distancing will not be an option at all spots within the shop, pickup options are available for those wanting to reduce time in-store.
The coffee shop will brew Cat and Cloud Coffee, of Santa Cruz, Calif., as well as steep tea from Hugo Tea of Kansas City, Mo. Its pastries will be supplied by Breadtopia of Fairfield.