A fill up is just around the corner in Poulsbo

POULSBO — Antiques, parcel services, Christmas holly and now coffee. To the Garner family, all these things fit together just fine.

POULSBO — Antiques, parcel services, Christmas holly and now coffee.

To the Garner family, all these things fit together just fine.

In downtown Little Norway, Jerry and Barbara Garner are known for owning the building where Antique Junction is located. They rent out business space upstairs and own the antique store downstairs.

When son Todd got into the family business more than one year ago, he helped his family realize a long-time dream for the building by opening Coffee on the Corner this May.

“A long time ago, we wanted to put a coffee shop here. It’s got location, location, location,” Todd said.

Besides owning the Antique Junction building, Jerry Garner is the manager of UPS in Bremerton and the family owns Keyport’s Hollyview Farm, the largest holly farm in Washington.

But the family business is not just about taking care of the family to the Garners. Through the profits of all these ventures, they fund the Garner Family Foundation, which gives charitable contributions to worthy causes.

“This coffee shop is just another avenue to bring in income for that foundation,” Todd explained.

Todd, his wife and five children live in Olalla, which puts him right smack dab between his duties at Coffee on the Corner and his studies toward his Masters of Divinity degree at Tacoma’s Faith Seminary. Despite the owner’s hectic schedule, the emphasis at Coffee on the Corner is on quality. Todd said he relies on two employees who have been with him from the beginning and who understand this mission.

“When I started this, I told them, ‘If we don’t have consistency, we don’t have anything,’” he explained. “McDonald’s made their millions on assuring people that they can get the same product in Japan that they can get in Poulsbo.”

And when it comes to menu, this little hole in the wall serves up a lot. Besides hot and iced espresso drinks and teas, smoothies, blended coffee and other cold drinks, the cafe also serves up polish sausages and all-beef hot dogs.

One hot seller has been the shop’s $3 lunch special, including a hot dog or polish sausage, chips and a cold drink. Todd said the menu will be expanded later to include more hand-held foods.

“We don’t want to become a restaurant. We just want to provide people with a quick, light meal,” he commented.

And so far, Todd said, the idea of Coffee on the Corner seems to have taken off. As soon as he got signs up, he said business picked up and hasn’t shown any signs of stopping.

One big draw for tourists has been the recent addition of the larger-than-life-sized Viking next to the order window. Todd said the idea came from watching tourists stop to have their photos taken with the sign at the Landmark building across Jensen from Antique Junction.

“We’ve already had people stop to have their photos taken with him,” Todd said. “And we hope they’ll come back year after year to see if the place with the Viking is still there.”

And as far as locals go, Todd said they’re the most important part of his business. He said he’s planning to start up a punch card system and specials after the summer tourist season ends.

“We want to establish an excellent reputation with the people who live and work here,” he said.

And with antiques, holly, coffee and Bible study under his belt, Todd said he doesn’t know exactly will be the next thing he’ll take on.

“Whatever the Lord opens the door for me to do,” he commented.