A new store opening in Dinkytown will offer customers a twist on their usual morning coffee.
Cosmic Beans Dispensary will sell energy drinks, mostly coffee and tea, along with desserts made with cannabidiol, or CBD, oil. The store, a concept by Hideaway smoke shop and Wally’s Falafel and Hummus owner Wally Sakallah, will occupy the storefront that currently houses Chatime tea house. Chatime will move to a location on 14th Avenue Southeast in Dinkytown in November.
The space above Chatime will be used as a seating area where students can spend time relaxing and studying. Depending on how the business does, Sakallah is also open to adding other features to the store, such as a hookah patio or food from Wally’s. He incidentally plans to open the business on April 20.
“I’m not going to be competing with coffee shop[s] here. I don’t want to open another coffee shop,” Sakallah said. “So, we have to add some spice to the coffee, to make it something unique and make it [a] destination.”
CBD oil is derived from hemp, but it does not give people a high and is present in various over-the-counter products for its soothing effects.
Students can choose from various drinks Sakallah will create himself, and Sakallah will focus on organic products from his own greenhouse. The store will offer a wide variety of coffee, teas and other drinks — some of which will be infused with vitamins. The caffeine will give customers energy, Sakallah said, and the CBD will help them come back down.
“So, it’s a business adding variety to the area, better than adding more of the same food,” Sakallah said. “If you’re not going to bring the variety to Dinkytown, Dinkytown is going to go down.”
New businesses are welcome in Dinkytown, said Kent Kramp, president of the Dinkytown Business Alliance and owner of Raising Cane’s in Dinkytown.
“It’s a good spot for people to try new businesses,” Kramp said. “It’s a business district, that’s what it’s created for.”
Randal Gast, owner of Qdoba and former Dinkytown Business Alliance president, said Sakallah is someone who is willing to try new things.
“Wally has proven to be an able-bodied businessman [who] will take risks,” Gast said. “[Cosmic Beans Dispensary] might appeal to a certain element of our culture.”
The City of Minneapolis recently passed an ordinance to restrict anyone below the age of 21 from purchasing tobacco. Almost 35 percent of his customers at Hideaway were between the ages of 18 and 21, Sakallah said.
While he says the ordinance has hurt his business, Hideaway is currently expanding its non-tobacco related products to include clothes, jewelry and art. Cosmic Beans Dispensary is not affected by the ordinance.
"If ... the business is not really doing good after the 21 [ordinance], everything [is] gone. I will be sold to another developer," Sakallah said. "So, this is my last hope or chance in Dinkytown, and after that, I'm out."