South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Five Minutes with Donna Behrend

Miranda M. Sampson
MIRANDA SAMPSON Donna Behrend, owner of Choco Latte, serves customers March 20. Choco Latte is located on the south side of Sixth Street next to Game Stop and Qdoba.

The “Five minutes with” series focuses on an SDSU faculty, student or member of the Brookings community. The interviewer spends five minutes speaking with a person to learn their specialty or something they are passionate about.

Q: Did you always plan on owning a coffee shop?

A: No. I worked for Starbucks for eight years or something like that, but I’ve also had a lot of different jobs. My dad is a business owner and I didn’t think this was going to be my route. So, I had no idea this was going to be the game plan, but I’m really happy it is.

Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?

A: The people. I love it, I love this, I love sitting down for a couple minutes with you, I love the people that are studying here, I love the coffee, I love candy. I love getting to see people through that drive-through window or giving them a hug in the store. I love this job. I can’t imagine doing something else.

Q: Where’d the name Choco Latte come from?

A: My husband thought it up. We knew we were going to do something with candy, and we knew something with coffee. He just said ‘Choco Latte’ and I’m like ‘No,’ and then it was Choco Latte. Along the way, I was the resisting force but he was the one who thought of Choco Latte, it was the name that conveyed what we did and that’s what we wanted to do.

Q: What are your goals for the future of Choco Latte?

A: The goal was always to be the Brookings coffee house of choice. That was always the end goal. I I really do want to be a presence in this community, that’s what my goal is. I don’t plan on leaving Brookings, I love Brookings, so, my goal is to be a viable business for this Brookings community.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

A: That is seldom and few and far between, but when I’m not here I am a mom of two little girls and we like to be outdoors and play with our dog. I like photography. I think I have a really good life so I think that outside of work I like to be a mom.

Q: What’s your favorite drink you serve?

A: Usually, I just drink black coffee. Americanos are really lovely too, but a vanilla latte is my go-to drink, like it’ll make my knees weak. Everybody loves the caramel sauce latte, but I really like the simplicity of a vanilla latte or a black coffee.

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