RESTAURANTS

Apple Creek Coffee Co. in Center Point is more than a coffee shop

Karly Millikin of Center Point puts the finishing touch on Christmas in a Cup, a white chocolate mocha with peppermint a
Karly Millikin of Center Point puts the finishing touch on Christmas in a Cup, a white chocolate mocha with peppermint and spiced brown sugar syrups, at Apple Creek Coffee.
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CENTER POINT — Apple Creek Coffee Co. in Center Point is a coffee shop. And a lunch spot. And an ice cream parlor. And a gift shop featuring all Iowa-made products.

In other words, it has a little bit of everything, packed into one small storefront.

“Comforting and local and community are my main things,” owner Allison Folkers said. “I try to do what’s best for the community and what they want.”

She and her husband Stephen Folkers bought the cafe in July 2019 when it was O’Brien’s Java House. This year, they rebranded it with the new moniker, named for the nearby Apple Creek that flows through Center Point.

Allison Folkers was a florist before taking on the cafe. She said she never intended to go into the food and coffee business, but she did want to open her own business, where she could be creative and be her own boss.

“As customers, we really enjoyed the place, so when we saw the ‘for sale’ sign, we jumped,” Stephen Folkers said.

He is originally from Center Point, and Allison Folkers is from Marion. They moved to Center Point in 2016 to be in a small town that was still an easy commute to Cedar Rapids, where Stephen Folkers works as an electrician.

When it was O’Brien’s Java House, there was coffee but no espresso machine, which the Folkers added, along with expanding the menu.

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It was a learning curve, but one they enjoyed. They got some training from a coffee roaster in Urbandale, who also roasts the house blends they serve in the cafe. They also did a lot of research, visiting every coffee shop in the area they could find.

“We didn’t know anything about coffee when we got into it,” Stephen Folkers said.

Their food focuses on wraps and soups, which are made by Chilled, a prepared food company that operates in the same strip mall. Chilled frozen meals are also available for sale from the shop. In the gift shop area, they also carry Fireside and Ackerman Winery wines, Thumbprint Soaps, house blend coffees and teas, gift baskets Allison Folkers puts together and other local products.

“If it’s something that makes you feel good and that tastes good, you can get it here,” Stephen Folkers said. “It’s just very local and community focused.”

For those looking for sweet treats, another local business, Heather’s Gourmet Cupcakes, has counter space and offers ice cream and “crazy” milkshakes loaded with toppings.

“Serving ice cream to kids is the best,” Allison Folkers said. “Kids get so pumped.”

The business has a drive-thru, which the couple said has been a huge boon during the pandemic.

“Until COVID hit, hardly anyone used it,” Allison Folkers said. “Then COVID hit, and it’s been a silver lining in this whole thing.”

She said community support has been strong and carried them through the pandemic.

“The community is amazing. I’m speechless,” she said. “It’s been great. I think people in the community saw if they didn’t support this, it wouldn’t survive.”

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Comments: (319) 398-8339; alison.gowans@thegazette.com

If you go

• What: Apple Creek Coffee Co.

• Where: 4215 Lewis Access Rd., Center Point

• Hours: For winter, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday

• Details: (319) 343-0933, applecreekcoffeeco.com

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