The community interest in the renovation of the Pix Theater building has remained high, and anticipation is growing as the Sleepy Eye Coffee Co. is soon to open for business there.

The community interest in the renovation of the Pix Theater building has remained high, and anticipation is growing as the Sleepy Eye Coffee Co. is soon to open for business there.

While building and business owners — Adam and Karlyn Armbruster — have taken the lead in developing the renovation project, and business planning for the coffee shop and micro-brewery there, they now have two full-time managers on hand to take it the rest of the way to opening day.

Dave and Samarah Forster were lured to Sleepy Eye to take the management positions.

Dave is a 1998 graduate of St. Mary’s High School. He and Samarah moved here from the state of Virginia, where Samarah grew up (her mom and sister also there) and where they were working at jobs they loved, and raising their four children.

How did this big move happen for the Forsters?

“We visited here around the 4th of July in 2017 and as we prepared to come, I knew I would feel the tug to move back. When we were here, swimming at the pool and visiting friends and family, I could see how Sleepy Eye is a great community for families.”

But the Forsters were established at their home in Virginia, enjoyed their jobs and family there, so moving back to Sleepy Eye wasn’t something they thought they could do.

“A few months later, out of the blue, I got a phone call from Judd Walter (his classmate and one of the brewery investors),” said Dave. “He asked if we would consider moving to Sleepy Eye to manage a coffee shop and brewery.”

At this point in the interview, Dave and Samarah looked at each other, and then said, “We said yes, yes that is something we’d liked to do!”

Despite leaving her mom and sister behind, both Samarah and Dave are happy to be in Sleepy Eye (where his mom is.) And they have found it to be just the type of family friendly town they thought it would be.

Samarah and Dave’s two older children are at St. Mary’s Elementary School and loving the small town school atmosphere. They found childcare for their two little ones at a home where some of their friends’ children receive care. And, “we found a house in the south part of town - just a block and a half from the pool!” said Dave.

First to open at the Pix will be the Sleepy Eye Coffee Co. The Forsters have been hiring part-time employees (“we have some great people coming to work with us”), overseeing kitchen equipment installation, and perfecting recipes for the goodies that will be offered.

But, when can we get our coffee? They said the coffee shop will be open later this month — they’d love to give a date, but can’t just yet. “By the end of the month,” said Dave (with fingers crossed.)

Sleepy Eye Coffee Co. will be open weekdays, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays, hours to be determined. The menu includes coffee (plain and fancy), tea, some soft drinks, pastries and bagels, and soups and sandwiches at lunch time.

When will Sleepy Eye Brewing Company open? “This winter,” said Dave. Before Christmas? I asked. Let’s just say winter, he answered.