BEYOND A CUP OF COFFEE
Infusco owner Aaron Darling always aspired beyond the cup. As a corporate sales guy in ’00s Minneapolis, he became obsessed with the vibrant coffee culture there. And dreamed of a small business of his own. Work that combined his passion for coffee with a deep appreciation for the third place—gathering spots with little to no financial barrier to entry. Not home. Not work. A warm, homey, everyone’s-welcome place to rest, work, create, and share stories. Think the very best cafes and pubs (even front porches and stoops) where conversation and community come easy.
A noble desire destined for another time until a series of fortunate events brought Aaron to Sawyer, a tiny one-block beachtown with a craft-obsessed roaster looking for help. First, as co-owner and now sole owner, Aaron’s unlikely coffeehouse dream is now a gratifying, everyday reality.
Serious about coffee, Infusco roasts on-site within view of the cafe, using beans ethically sourced directly from worldwide growers and respected distributors. Although the founder’s aesthetic was a famously dark roast, today’s Infusco is more inclined to innovate, exploring lighter roasts using beans from Guatemala, Honduras, and Kenya to balance the menu. And no matter where you are on your coffee journey—hazelnut caramel mocha latte or double espresso—Infusco baristas meet you there with a beautifully crafted drink and zero judgment. In fact, the team here takes care to source healthier, seasonal, locally produced sugars like wildflower honey and maple to elevate the experience, even for newbies.
Given the kind, relaxed culture, it’s no surprise Infusco’s become an outpost for outdoor enthusiasts, as well as the requisite coffeehouse creatives and remote workers. You’ll find cyclists, runners, and hikers fresh off the dunes among the mix of regulars and visitors. Even skiers and snowshoe-ers stop in for a warm-up on the way to or from nearby Warren Dunes State Park. A true community hub, Infusco’s open every day, year-round.
Local Tip: Infusco’s logo has a great entrepreneurial backstory. Best told by Aaron, be sure to ask if you run into him.
words Collette DiJohn Kemper
images Jamie Kelter Davis