AUTHORED BY COLE STERR
Due to these unprecedented times regarding COVID-19, FRGMNT Coffee has decided to suspend operations until further notice. The coffee shop feels that this is the safest option for staff, guests, and the community, and it looks forward to the day it can reopen to its normal hours. Consider giving the shop a visit when it’s open to support the business and the employees.
Ben Banse took a spontaneous trip from Jacksonville to Nashville, entered a coffee shop and ordered a mocha. He was captivated by everything around him – the coffee, the setting, the interactions between the barista and the customers, literally everything about the experience. “It was an awesome feeling,” Ben remembers, “Seeing those really cool interactions made me want to be a part of the coffee scene.”
It was that small, yet pivotal moment in his life that compelled him to pursue a career in the specialty coffee industry.
As a Minnesota native, Ben decided to come back to the Twin Cities area and get started in the city’s coffee community. He met life-long friends who would later become some of his business partners. After working alongside them and assisting with the opening of four coffee shops in the North Loop (including Northern Coffeeworks, Parallel, and Bachelor Farmer), he and some close co-workers were approached to start another coffee shop. The shop’s location would be in an office and mixed-use Nordic-style development, which would later become known as The Nordic. Less than a year later the vision became a reality when The Nordic fully opened this past fall with the group’s coffee shop idea: FRGMNT.
A Piece of the Whole
The FRGMNT team’s primary job with the development of the building was to influence the layout of the coffee shop and add their own flair while also ensuring that the space was practical for an easier work environment. Working with United Properties and interior design firm StudioBV made it easy for the team to imagine the possibilities of what the coffee shop could look like.
A strategic approach to the coffee sourcing was important to the identity of the shop, too, according to the team. “A big part of what we wanted to do was bring in roasters from all over the world,” Ben explains. “Bringing in roasters from the Nordic countries coincided well with the style of the building.”
In fact, what makes FRGMNT unique is its rotating roasting program. “We have five to six different roasters at a time, so five to six different coffee origins,” Ben explains. This way, the coffee shop always provides the customer with something new or something they haven’t tried previously. “It’s cool to see the story behind each bean.” To date, FRGMNT has offered coffee roasted in Denmark, Sweden, London, Germany and the United States.
The coffee shop’s name also alludes to its uniqueness. The term “FRGMNT” reflects how the team wanted to insinuate that they are part of a larger whole (like a “fragment”) – in this case, the North Loop neighborhood. The team then took away the vowels to emphasize the non-traditional nature of the shop.
Impact on the North Loop & Future Plans
FRGMNT does more for the North Loop than add another conventional coffee shop. “It’s a convenient location for businesses and neighborhood folk,” says Ben. “It’s like a little downtown getaway and can cater to any coffee shop-goer.”
What’s more is that the coffee shop will be a great place to work for employees. With competitive wages, the employees also receive parking passes, access to a gym, and the hours call for a good work-life balance that allows them to have some time to pursue interests outside of their traditional barista duties.
For the future, FRGMNT plans to expand its shop to more locations. The team’s ultimate goal is to have a couple strategically placed FRGMNT shops throughout the Twin Cities.
In the meantime, FRGMNT hopes to continue providing an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome and where there’s an option for every customer.
“Our long-term goal is to cultivate a coffee shop environment where every customer can find a seat and get an experience they can enjoy.”