The old Lewis Drug on Calumet Avenue has been empty and collecting dust for a while. Now, the lights are on, the dust has been cleaned away, new flooring is going down and equipment is getting moved around. De Smet Mercantile and Coffeehouse will open at that location around the first weekend in June.
Arthur Lampinen, his wife, Reena, and their son, Lucas, recently moved to the area from upper Michigan. They operated a similar store there for 17 years. Their building was sold in Michigan, and that gave them the perfect opportunity to relocate. With both husband and wife having family in the area, they looked at Brookings and De Smet and deciding on a small-town atmosphere, chose De Smet to launch their new endeavor.
De Smet Mercantile and Coffeehouse will feature a full coffee shop but will also have books and gifts available for purchase. They will serve SDSU Ice Cream, made in Brookings.
“There will be something for everyone,” said Reena.
Arthur said they plan to offer a wide selection of books ranging from “kids’ books, books that appeal to the middle-aged, regular fiction, nonfiction, local guidebooks, gardening - basically everything.”
The Coffeehouse will not just be serving coffee; it will feature all types of hot and cold beverages.
“We'll do coffees and espressos, blended drinks, blended coffee drinks, smoothies, frozen lemonades, Italian sodas; basically, we will be a traditional coffee shop, serving coffee beverages,” said Arthur. “We plan on going with Kool Beans Coffee & Roasterie out of Brookings, for roasting our coffee beans.
The Lampinens plan on having bakery goods on site; those will have to be outsourced locally, and no decision has been made yet.
“Hopefully, we will offer items like cinnamon rolls, donuts, muffins, that type of thing,” said Reena. “We’ve talked about doing overnight oats, like fruit and yogurt parfaits, and chia seed pudding, just to have a few of those kinds of options as well, for the morning crowd.”
The hours of operation will vary. Right now, the drive-up window is planned to be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the bookstore/giftshop will be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. The hours may change based on the season or customer needs.