Small business strives to be a destination

Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 9:58 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The community of Sargent continues to promote growth, and a new coffee shop is the latest success story.

Beth Ottun is the owner of the business on main street called “Ollie’s Coffee and Boutique”. “Ollie is my nickname in my family,” Ottun said. “Growing up, my grandpa actually gave me the nickname Olive Oil when I was maybe three.” She says later in life, the nickname got a little shorter. “He always just called me Ollie, and he was my favorite person, my best friend, and I always told him my dream was to have a store.”

In 2019, the two “friends” had a conversation about her potential business. “He was suffering from dementia and was just failing,” Ottun said. “But every time I visited with him, he would call me Ollie. I always knew he remembered who I was, so he would always say ‘Ollie, you need to do that.’ He would really support me.” Ottun already knew what the name of the business would be. “I said, I wouldn’t even have to think about the name, I’m just going to call it Ollie’s,” Ottun said. “That’s what it’s going to be, and he just smiled and said, ‘Ollie you have to do that, it would be so great’. He’s passed away now, but it was awesome how this happened. We got the building, and there wasn’t a thought in my mind, it was going to be named Ollie’s.”

Ollie’s Coffee and Boutique serves up all of the latest mochas and lattes, but it has a unique hometown flair thanks to her grandpa. “Grampy always went places that had senior specials for their coffee, so I have a senior special. I honor him in a lot of ways here,” Ottun said. “It was really important to us that we create a space where people could know they are welcome to stay. We have couches, and people can come and just sit and read. Of course, we have clothing and decor, plus all kinds of gift items.” And, Ottun made it a priority to create a fun play area for kids in the store. “They can go play, and moms, dads, and grandparents or whoever can still shop and get themselves a latte,” Ottun said.

The coffee shop and boutique also features tasty baked goods from entrepreneur Deb Kennedy. “My business is called Blessings and Grace Bakery,” Kennedy said. She is providing everything from scrumptious brownies to cake pops that will accompany the coffee at the store. “This is really exciting for me to see a business like this come into Sargent,” Kennedy said. “I know that Sargent is working hard to promote growth and revitalize the downtown. It’s growing by leaps and bounds, and that’s really exciting.”

The coffee shop and boutique appears to be filling a need. “We have the highway that goes right through,” Ottun said. “We have a great grocery store, and we have lots of really cool shops here on main street.” Both Ottun and Kennedy are hoping the business will become a destination where people find coffee, kindness, and a sense of community. “I love to be with people,” Ottun said. “It’s a great way to connect with people, and just being a part of this awesome community, we are blessed.”

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