Lake Elmo residents stir up new business downtown

Aundrea Kinney photos/Review • Sarah Marshall and her father, Bill Lockwood, are two of the four co-owners of Lake Elmo Coffee, a new business located in downtown Lake Elmo. Sarah’s husband Paul and her mother Susan are the other co-owners.

Aundrea Kinney/Review • Lake Elmo Coffee offers a cozy atmosphere to relax with a warm cup of coffee. The business also offers sandwiches and pastries to compliment any drink.

Aundrea Kinney photos/Review • Lake Elmo Coffee is located on Lake Elmo Avenue next to the library, in the area of downtown where the recently completed five-year sewer and pavement renovation project took place.

“It seemed like it was always supposed to be a coffee shop,” said Sarah Marshall, co-owner of Lake Elmo Coffee, the new coffee shop that opened in downtown Lake Elmo mid-November. 

She and her husband Paul, another of the four co-owners, moved to Lake Elmo in 2012, and had always admired the building at 3511 Lake Elmo Ave. that their shop is located in now.

For the Marshalls, the desire to open a coffee shop branched from their desire to fulfill a community need. “People around Lake Elmo have been talking about how this town needs a coffee shop for — pretty much since we moved here,” Sarah said. “No one else was going to do it, so why not us?”

For Sarah’s parents, co-owners Susan and Bill Lockwood, the venture is a unique retirement investment. They moved from the Madison, Wisconsin, area to help run the Lake Elmo shop.

Lake Elmo Coffee is located next to the library, in the area of downtown that recently experienced the completion of a five year sewer and pavement renovation project. It’s a welcoming destination in a part of town coming back from a half decade of construction.

The business incorporates local and organic products wherever possible and features coffee from beans roasted by Bootstrap Roasters out of St. Paul. It currently employs about ten people, though three of the four owners still work full-time jobs outside of their duties at the shop.

Although having four-co-owners is a bit unusual, Bill explained it has been advantageous, so far because “everybody has a specific strength.”

Bill explained that Paul’s strength is as a chef. Sarah has front-end and service experience. Susan brings computer and administrative skills, and Bill himself offers a background in marketing and sales.

He added that by sticking to their strengths, the four of them hope to avoid many of the troubles that can come with family members sharing ownership of a business.

Paul is also a co-owner of Catrina’s Mexican Restaurant, which has locations in Oakdale and St. Anthony Village. He said that although this experience has helped successfully launch the coffee shop, they are two totally different types of businesses. He added that like any business venture, there is a component of learning as you go.

Bill, who doubles as the general manager, indicated this wasn’t slowing them down, though. He said the community has responded well to the new shop and has been very supportive. He noted that the apple turkey brie panini has been especially popular with their local customers.

According to Sarah, there has been an outpouring of support from the community. Residents have not only stopped in to try a cup of coffee, but have shown support by sending cards, flowers and wreaths. 

“Everyone has just been so kind, and I would say for a new business it’s been pretty good,” Sarah said.

“We’re just grateful to be here,” Bill said. “We hope to be here for a long, long time.”

For more information about Lake Elmo Coffee go


Aundrea Kinney can be reached at 651-748-7822 or

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Comment Here