Lily Bean Coffee, Dutton’s newest business, celebrated its grand opening June 1. Dutton resident Lily Wahl is operating the café and lunch spot at 108 W. Main St. (in the former Farmers Union insurance building) with her daughter, Molly.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said. “People told me I should open up one of those portable drive-up coffee places, but I’m a pretty social person. I really wanted a spot where people could come and spend time together. … It’s sad to see the town lose so many businesses. There’s so few places where people can really see their neighbors.”
While having a coffee shop was always in the back of Lily’s mind, it wasn’t until recently that a good opportunity opened up. Lily, who has taught at Power Public Schools for a number of years, has taken time off from teaching to pursue a two-year Master’s degree in education for the vision-impaired, so she has more time in Dutton to operate a business. For Molly, a 2019 Dutton/Brady graduate who just finished her freshman year of college, the coffee shop offers her a summer job at which she can spend time with her family.
The shop is nestled in the back of the building; an arrow pointing down a small hallway leads customers to the front counter. There, plenty of seating is available, at group tables or on a few barstools at a counter along the wall. The space is decorated in a farmhouse style. Dutton hair stylist Verna Schlueter made many of the decorations from reclaimed furniture while her salon was closed due to COVID-19 shutdowns. She made a wall clock from the wood backing of an antique vanity, and gathered rustic dresser drawers to use as shelving. There’s also a handmade Scrabble-style piece of wall art on display, with coffee-related words.
“If I was going to have a story about my shop, I knew I’d have to include Verna. She is so talented and she worked so hard to put everything together,” Lily said.
The menu at Lily Bean Coffee offers a variety of tea, soda, drip coffee, steamers, smoothies and all the typical specialty coffee drinks including frappes, lattes, and cappuccinos. For food, the shop will have breakfast burritos, sandwiches, paninis, chips and soup specials.
The shop is using organic bread from Blue Truck Bread on the Fairfield Bench, and will also be offering doughnuts and other baked goods from Bylers Bakery in Choteau. Lily also thanked Mary Shore, owner of Meraki Coffee in Choteau, for giving her lots of helpful start-up advice. “I love the idea of small town businesses helping each other out,” Lily said.
Lily Bean Coffee is open 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The business can be found on Facebook, or contacted by phone at 788-3512.