10 years later, Sunrise coffee still brewing
By Stephen Groessel
Stephen Groessel photo
The Sunrise Bakery & Coffee Cafe of Kiel marked its 10th anniversary. From left are Justin, Nicole, Sue and Tim Meyer. When the Kiel Food Mart closed Sue was employed there as manager of its bakery. It was an easy transition for her and Tim to go into the coffee and bakery business on their own. The panini sandwich and speciality coffees are two of the many popular choices at the bakery. Sue’s mother Elizabeth Kraus came up with the name Sunrise. The sun has been coming up every day for the entrepreneurs even when it is cloudy. Sue is a New Holstein native and Tim a Kiel native.

The lights in the kitchen at Sunrise Bakery & Coffee Cafe in Kiel burn almost perpetually—just as they have for the past 10 years.

When customers arrive in the early morning hours for coffee, “snecks,” and breakfast sandwiches, it probably does not enter their minds that some of the 16 employees have been working the graveyard shift to fill the display cases and shelves with fresh, tasty products.

Everything is made fresh on site at Sunrise Bakery & Coffee Cafe. It is a practice that gives its owners Sue and Tim Meyer, their children Justin and Nicole, and their loyal employees a great deal of pride.

In late January, the business marked its 10th anniversary.

One door closes, another opens

When the Kiel Food Mart closed its doors 10 years ago, Sue Meyer, who served as its bakery manager, decided to put her talents to use in her own venture.

In the decade since, she has been making and selling bakery, coffee varieties, and other complementary food products from a brand new building just south of the former Kiel Food Mart.

The new business was given the name Sunrise Bakery & Coffee Cafe.

Tim and Sue solicited ideas from family and friends on naming the business and a litany of possibilities came forth. It was the suggestion from Sue’s mother Elizabeth Kraus that surfaced to the top. Facing east, Kraus thought the building would capture the early morning sun and that joined with a warm cup of coffee would brighten a customer’s day. Even drive-through customers are greeted by the morning sun. On cloudy days, the sun shines too through the smiles of customers satisfied with their savory products.

A family affair

Sunrise Bakery and Coffee Cafe is run by hometown, local, and caring people. Sue, who is a 1984 New Holstein High School graduate, serves as the manager of the bakery. Tim, a Kiel High School graduate of 1985, works full time at Sargento Foods and pitches in evenings and weekends as handyman. Their son, Justin, who has a job as cook at Parker Johns, and daughter Nicole, who attends college, both work at the bakery, too.

This story would be remiss if it failed to mention that employee Kim Pingel started with the Meyers from day one, marking her 10th anniversary with the business.

The bakery, located at 1105 Service Rd., Kiel, is open Monday through Friday from 5 a. m.-5 p. m., and on Saturday from 5 a. m. until 1 p. m. It is closed Sundays. Orders to go are welcome. Call 894-1671.

For many customers breakfast starts with a house blend coffee, a latté or specialty coffee. A specialty coffee day is always designated. The store also sells ground or whole coffee beans. It may include breakfast sandwiches consisting of meat, eggs and cheese served from 5 to 9 a. m. Doughnuts, muffins, bagels, and croissants complete the breakfast choices. Every doughnut is made fresh every day, said Sue.

Open for lunch

Lunch is served from 11 a. m. until 2 p. m. Monday through Friday. During the lunch hours, the store offers 10 varieties of panini sandwiches. They are served with kettle chips and a pickle.

Starting in April a salad bar will be featured at lunch.

Patrons are asked to follow them on Facebook. Beginning in March every Friday and Saturday a special will be announced.

A menu appears on Facebook, but here are a few things among the 10 panini sandwiches on the lunch menu —

nTurkey—served on Cranberry Sourdough -turkey breast, provolone, bacon, tomato, lettuce and mayo;

n ItalianChicken—served on Foccacia bread, Italian chicken breast, onion, tomato, lettuce, provolone cheese and mayo, and

n Tunamelt—served on marble rye bread, tuna salad, Cheddar cheese and lettuce.

On cold, snowy or rainy days, and when customers are in a hurry, the drive-through window serves as a quick and convenient way to obtain an order and be on one’s way.

A visit to the bakery would not be complete without leaving with a loaf of bread under one’s arm. Sue says popular choices for health conscious customers include the wheat and multi grain breads. Again, breads, buns and other baked items are made fresh daily. Sunrise Bakery also makes decorated cakes for a bundle of occasions.

Large gatherings will find Sunrise Bakery a convenient and welcomed answer to their food needs. Sandwiches include salads and desserts. Sunrise regularly supplies picnic buns, does catering for private parties of all sorts and delivers foods to factories marking special occasions. Their delivery route extends as far as the Holyland communities and the Northern Kettle Moraine area. Other delivery routes may include convenience stores, restaurants, athletic clubs, schools, brat fry fundraisers and taverns.

To place an order, call 894-1671.