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The Local Exchange: Mobile coffee shop serves Northwest Wisconsin locals

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 10:51 AM CST
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ASHLAND, WI. (KBJR) - Antler Specialty Goods is a small business in Northwest Wisconsin.

The store is literally small, and it’s also a coffee shop on wheels.

Owners Annalisa and Hunter Thewis wanted to start a business but needed a space to do it.

“The best part about traveling around with this is watching people watch us drive around because they’re either like ‘What is going on?’ or ‘Antler!’” Annalisa said.

While on a walk in Washburn two years ago they spotted a rundown camper.

“I was like, ‘If there is a for sale sign in this, we are getting it right now,’ and there was and we bought it on the side of the road on a walk for $200 and took it home,” Annalisa said.

The couple quit their corporate jobs and started renovating.

They now travel between Washburn and Ashland selling drinks with ingredients straight from their garden and serving a community they did not expect.

“We honestly thought that we were going to be serving tourists mainly, but that was completely wrong, and we serve mainly the locals here and they keep us afloat,” Hunter said.

The locals keep coming.

Antler gets so many regulars they start making the customer’s drink before they even get out of the car.

“There’s a lot of people here who are looking for something that’s new and exciting that was also built for them,” Annalisa said.

The Thewises are able to give something for the locals all because they took a leap of faith, bought that rundown camper, and are now a treasured piece of the community.

“Trust in the people around you and let them help as much as they’re willing to and trust in the community that they’ll show up,” Hunter said.

Since Antler is always on the go, they make sure to keep social media updated with where customers can find them next.

The coffee shop closed for the season last week, but they will reopen in the summer.

If there is a small business that has left a big impact on your community, you can nominate them for this segment by sending an email to kjarboe@kbjr6.com.

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