VALLEY CITY, ND –A North Dakota coffee shop is saving money on employee costs, by not having any.
The self-serve coffee shop, called The Vault, is like any other coffee shop in that it has coffee, tea, and pastries.
The one thing it’s missing: staff.
“At the time, I didn’t realize how unique that was,” said David BrekkeCo-owner/Operator. “I thought it just made sense, and I found out later by Googling there really isn’t anything else like it.”
When Brekke and his wife Kimberly opened the shop in October, they decided it was fitting to allow people to serve themselves and pay on the honor system.
They haven’t broken even yet, but it’s not because people are stealing.
“The thing that’s amazing is that people have been extremely honest,” Brekke said. “When I add up how much has been taken and how much is in the till at the end of the day, people are 15% more generous than thieving.”
The process couldn’t be simpler; you just grab your coffee, pay, and sit down and have a chat.
“It’s really very convenient to use,” said customer Madeline Luke. “I hope that they financially make it, but most people in town I think are pretty honest.”
And there’s plenty else to draw people in: two pianos, artwork for sale, and a whole lot of books.
“It’s a great place to sit where it’s quiet and read, and little by little there are more and more people coming in all the time,” said customer LeRoy Triebold.
Brekke spent three-and-a-half years converting the former bank, turning it from this to this: a true for the people coffee shop that this community is embracing, whole-heartedly.