The Local Exchange: Grand Marais coffee shop serves espresso with daily weather report

Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 10:21 AM CDT
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GRAND MARAIS, MN. (KBJR) - If you frequent the North Shore of Lake Superior, you have probably heard of Java Moose.

It is a coffee shop located next to the Grand Marais harbor.

Sarah Jorgenson started working there in high school before her family bought the business in 1999.

“I would get there at like six in the morning, work until a quarter to 8, and then I would go to school,” Jorgenson said.

Conveniently located near the top of the North Shore and the bottom of the Gunflint Trail, Java Moose is a watering hole for adventure seekers and locals alike.

Before the coffee is brewed and the muffins get made, Jorgenson’s work with Java Moose begins on their Instagram.

She started recording and posting one-minute weather reports during last summer’s wildfires to update people on the air quality.

“That’s when it started, and it as just as my sister has said, I have just created my own monster because now I have to do it,” Jorgenson said. “The expectation is I need to be here and I need to do it, and I enjoy it. I really do enjoy it.”

The videos were an instant hit. Each one receives thousands of views.

Rain, shine, snow, and wind, Jorgenson is in the elements no matter what.

“It was a north wind, and I couldn’t even get words out, and I said, ‘I hope you have a great day,’ and it’s like hitting me, the ice and the snow and everything is hitting me in the face, that was a great one,” she said. “The other one was a wave hit me a couple of weeks ago, so that was fun.”

Coffee is still at the heart of Java Moose, but these weather reports give a piece of Grand Marais to the world all year long.

“I’m not a meteorologist,” Jorgenson said. “I have zero training in this, except that I’m a Minnesotan, and so therefore it’s just in our blood to just care about the weather.”

Jorgenson shares her love of coffee and the weather one latte and video at a time.

“People are happy,” she said. “Even if they’re not happy when they walk in the door, we often can at least give them a great smile, make them a great cup of coffee, and we can send them on their way a little more fulfilled.”

Jorgenson said they have even had some customers travel from as far as New York all because they stumbled upon Java Moose through social media and were drawn to check out the beauty of Grand Marais.

If there is a small business that has left a big impact on your community, you can nominate them for this segment by sending an email to

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