Local Business – Gustavsen Cafe

Gustavsen Cafe in Buchanan MI, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

Sweet Cinnamon Rolls & Roasted Coffee Await for you in Downtown Buchanan

by Rebecka Hoyt, Editor & Photographer

Sweet news of cinnamon rolls and Ethiopian coffee at Gustavsen Bread & Coffee has been going around town. Norwegian sweet bread was just brought to the menu as well. You can find them at 125 Days Avenue, Buchanan, MI. Lise Gustavsen is a new business owner, who helped her late Dad, Willard, turn this building into a take-out cafe that’s across from the Common.

Willard Gustavsen in 7th Grade & their first dollar of sale, Gustavsen Cafe in Buchanan MI, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

In 2013, her Dad started to renovate the building to use as a design studio. Then as life went on and he turned ill, he suggested to her “How about turning this into a cafe?” And she replied, “I said “Yeah”.” Willard was quite a handyman as he made these covered tables for the River St. Joe brewery/restaurant. He was very active in the community and it made him and her feel good to give back to the community too. Lise states, “I come to appreciate more of the small businesses and I want to be a quiet little addition to the town and be something positive that is here. My Dad wasn’t going to be open on Saturdays, because of the religion he was raised in and I told him that I wouldn’t have the cafe open on Saturdays, which I thought long and hard about. I wanted to respect his wishes and I am.” This is the entire reason to start this business. She doesn’t matter how slow or busy the cafe is, just as long as it makes others feel good.

Outside Gustavsen Cafe in Buchanan MI, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

When you come to get your roll or a cup of coffee, the entrance is in the back and masks are required. You will find wooden tables with roofs on the side and log chairs under the canopy by the entrance. Lise is the only worker, but on Sundays her fiance helps her out. Each day that she’s been open, she made more delicious cinnamon rolls and still sold out of them before the cafe closed. It’s hard for Lise to judge how many to make each day she’s open when she comes in really early in the morning. In about a month or so, she will probably have a better idea. There are no plans as of now due to Covid to have inside seating. She has a large bread dough table where she rolls out the rolls.

Handmade Cinnamon Rolls at Gustavsen Cafe in Buchanan MI, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

To make her cinnamon rolls, she uses giant muffins tins that can fit 15 muffins and bake for 15 minutes with only one oven and only so many slots! So, she is a very busy lady! She also roasts the coffee beans inside which makes the cafe filled with aroma as do the muffins! You can purchase a bag of coffee, but be sure to ask if she has any in stock. Roasting the beans can take some time, like 2 lbs & 2 oz for 25 min/batch depending on how much she has. Her Dad grew up in Ethiopia so he learned how to roast the coffee and that’s how she does it. Still she’s the one person running the cafe. So please be patient if you have to wait. Remember, all good things come to those who wait.

Outside Gustavsen Cafe in Buchanan MI, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

So, now do you want to go there tomorrow (Sunday, being that today is Saturday) or Monday and next Friday, and get an awesome cinnamon roll or two and a cup of coffee? Her hours are: Sunday 7:00am – 4:00pm, Monday & Friday 10:00am – 3:00pm. You may use the street parking out front or in the Days Avenue public parking lot and take the sidewalk to the gravel-lined path that leads you to the back door. Enjoy your goodies Buchanan and spread the word!

Outside Gustavsen Cafe in Buchanan MI, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

Ordering (when available) through their Square site: gustavsen-108018.square.site/

They’re not on Facebook; Best contact is DM through Instagram: @gustavsencafe

Typical business hours are: Sunday 7:00am – 4:00pm, Monday & Friday 10:00am – 3:00pm

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