A fine cup of coffee: inside Norfolk Scooter’s Coffee

August 11, 2018

For countless Americans, it truly is the best part of waking up.

Staving off both grogginess and grumpiness, drinking coffee is more than a morning ritual for some — it’s a necessary component of life.

Thankfully, there isn’t a shortage of ways or places to get a caffeine fix in Northeast Nebraska, including at Scooter’s Coffee.

Its two high-traffic locations in Norfolk — 905 S. 13th St. and 902 W. Benjamin Ave. — cater to morning commuters as well as people needing an afternoon or evening pick-me-up.

Barista Paige Reynoldson has worked at Scooter’s since her parents, Mike and Cindy Reynoldson, opened the 13th Street location in 2009.

“I was little then, so I was doing dishes and stuff like that. I kind of grew up and learned by being here (at Scooter’s), so it worked out really good that way,” Reynoldson said.

She normally works on 13th Street, but some days she heads over to the Benjamin Avenue location — opened by her parents just last year — to help out her sister, Brooke Wenzl, who is the manager there.

“It goes really smoothly, and there aren’t any problems working so close with family,” Wenzl said.

Both sisters agree that the fast-paced environment keeps them on their toes and makes the hours fly by. Depending on the time of day, anywhere between one and four baristas are working, constantly on the move while upbeat music plays overhead.

The barista who works the drive-through uses a tablet computer, sending orders to a large overhead screen. And she does all of this while making drinks along with everyone else.

“I enjoy doing it — I love it. It really moves fast,” Wenzl said.

Reynoldson said she loves working with the customers, especially her regulars.

“Some of the same people come in every day, and you get to know their drinks, so you can start making it when you see them coming up. They really like that, and they’re really great to work with,” Reynoldson said.

She enjoys being a barista and especially likes to make Vertigo Smoothies — a caffeinated mix of Redbull and fruit. Scooters not only offers coffee drinks and smoothies, but also tea drinks and breakfast items.

And, there really is a secret menu at Scooter’s, Wenzl said.

A quick Google search brings up at least a dozen additional options, including fall favorite Autumn Caramel Crunch — a blend of caramel sauce, hazelnut, vanilla, and espresso.

Even though Reynoldson herself isn’t a big coffee drinker — she prefers smoothies — she said this month’s birthday cake-flavored coffee drink is a new favorite.

“It’s to celebrate the Scooter’s (national franchise) 20th anniversary. We have cake pops here now, too,” she said.

International Coffee Day is also right around the corner, falling on Saturday, Sept. 29, this year. According to the National Coffee Association, research has shown moderate coffee consumption may be associated with positive health benefits, including:

n Liver disease prevention

n Improvement of cognitive function in older adults

n Sharper memory

n Increased athletic endurance

n Reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes

n A slightly lower risk of death over a 10-year follow-up, as compared to non-coffee drinkers

In addition, a study appearing in PLOS Biology shows that a physiologically-relevant dose of caffeine (four cups of coffee worth) protects cardiovascular cells from damage.

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