Choco Latte wins over students two years in a row



 For the second year in a row, students have picked Choco Latte as the number one coffee choice in Brookings. 

Owner Donna Behrend was thrilled about this achievement. “It’s been the best three and a half years ever.” Behrend said. 

Before Choco Latte opened, people told Behrend that Brookings didn’t need another coffee shop, however, that didn’t stop her. She has worked over 10 years in coffee shops. Behrend once managed for a large corporation. Her husband finally asked her why she didn’t open up her own shop. Behrend said it never was the plan; her major in college was biology. 

According to Behrend, Choco Latte has the only drive-thru in all of Brookings. The shop sells mochas, lattes, frappes and coffee. They also have specialty handmade candies and 14 varieties of handmade fudge. 

“It is so good … there’s fudge that is delicious … I don’t think there is anything bad there,” said sophomore Mariah Krogman.

The most popular drink at Choco Latte is the caramel sauce latte. According to Behrend, everybody loves it and it is one of the signature beverages. The most popular fudge is the salted nut roll. 

“As a barista,” Behrend said, “I love hanging out and making drinks for people.” The shop has a large area for customers to be seated. Many students commented on the environment of Choco Latte. Behrend said she has many students who come to study or just hang out. 

“It has a cool atmosphere and is really laid back… lots of unique options,” said Emily Pederson a freshman dietetics major. 

The shop is open Monday through Saturday 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Choco Latte has 15 employees and they are all students at SDSU. Behrend said that the university is a great asset. One of the busiest times for the shop is around finals week. Another busy time of the years is around the Christmas holiday season. Valentine’s Day is their busiest day of the year. 

Other popular coffee shops around Brookings include Cottonwood Coffee, Mango Tree Coffee and Mission Coffeehouse. 

According to Jacob Limmer, owner of Cottonwood Coffee and Cottonwood Bistro, they are the oldest coffeehouse in Brookings and it is a tradition for students to come there. “We also have a lot of seating, many outlets and free wireless for the students,” Limmer said. 

Cottonwood Coffee, located downtown Brookings, has been around for eight years and Cottonwood Bistro, located on Sixth St., for five years. They also are open until 10 p.m. Limmer said. 

Mango Tree Coffee is also another option for students. It is located on the second floor of the Brookings Public Library according to Harsha Mistry, owner of Mango Tree Coffee. “We have all natural ingredients and many things are homemade fresh every day,” Mistry said. Many students come to study and they have lots of space. Their freshly ground spices also make their drinks more attractive to customers, Mistry said.