Bru2, which opened their door almost three years ago as a trendy internet cafe, served their last cup of coffee on Aug. 1, citing a “lack of business” for closing.
The coffee shop attached to First Dakota National Bank on Cherry Street had been losing money for months, but Monica Iverson, co-owner of Bru2 and parent restaurant Cafe Brule, said it was a “tough decision” to close down.
“Between the labor and all the other expenses there, we weren’t turning a profit or actually making any money,” she said. “We had actually been losing money for quite some time, we were taking money out of our own pockets to try and keep it open.”
Bru2’s 10 employees learned of their approaching unemployment just 10 days before the shop’s closing last Thursday. Manager Jaloni Yankton learned from Iverson through a group messaging app; the rest learned from a post on “Vermillion South Dakota online garage sale” Facebook page, where Iverson posted the business was for sale at a price of $35,000.
“They were all mostly confused as to what was exactly happening,” Yankton said of Bru2’s employees. “She never had a meeting with the staff to tell them about anything or to thank them for all the work they’ve done for them.”
After their employees learned of the closing, Iverson and her business partner Jim Walters informed the individuals and offered them jobs at Cafe Brule.
“We did offer them all jobs at our other locations, so they were all taken care of and reabsorbed. We really wanted to make sure that we weren’t losing any jobs in town,” Iverson said.
Bru2’s signature drinks and food items can still be found at Cafe Brule. The money formerly supporting Bru2 will be shifted into updgrades at Cafe Brule and Dakota Brick House, another downtown restaurant owned by Iverson and Walters, Iverson said.