Watch now: The Union Café offers coffee, ice cream and breakfast in Downs | Local company

STOCKINGS — Union Cafe Inc., 201 S. Seminary St. in Downs, is the pick of the week for Eats of the Week.

The cafe is a coffee, ice cream and breakfast shop owned by Rachel and Jacob Smith of Downs. It opened in 2017 and was originally owned by Amber Amend, but the Smiths reopened the business last October. The couple also own The Concrete Magic, a floor finishing service in Ellsworth.

The Smiths are from Tennessee but have been in Downs since 2015. They moved to the area for the school district, family and their church.

“It’s not a bar, we didn’t want another bar. It’s a family place where the kids come to hang out,” Jacob Smith said. “You have your Starbucks, Dairy Queen, ice cream, coffee, and breakfast separately, but we have them all in one place and stay open year-round.”

The name “Union Café” comes from the location of the Old Union building, which in its history housed a church and various businesses, including a grocery store, florist and market.

Besides coffee, ice cream and breakfast, the cafe also offers games and a reading area with books for guest enjoyment.

The couple created a website for the business, added online ordering and are working on an app.

“It’s the best ice cream ever. I enjoy serving ice cream to kids,” Rachel Smith said. “I love seeing the little kids get so excited about it and look in the briefcase to see what we have.”

The coffee ice cream comes from Ashby’s ice cream in Michigan. Popular flavors include Michigan Pothole, Chocolate, Cookie Crumble, Superman Ice Cream, and Scout Mint Cookie.

The cafe offers many specialty coffees and espresso drinks, with lattes being the top-selling item. They offer several flavored coffees that are rotated throughout the week and one flavor of the day. The most popular coffee flavors are White Chocolate Raspberry and Snickerdoodle.

For breakfast, gravy-smothered breakfast burritos are very popular. Also on the menu are cookies and gravy, pastries and baked goods.

“I love being part of the community and seeing parents sit down and play games with their kids,” Jacob Smith said. “We’re really lucky to be able to keep the business in the community.”

The Smiths said they had big dreams for the company. They hope to add a second location as well as an arcade room, furniture updates, a more expanded seating and reading area, and a small lunch menu.

“We’re just happy to be here. Small towns are the best,” Rachel Smith said. “It’s such a good, tight-knit community; everyone’s pretty family oriented here. We love the people and the school. Everyone’s here to help and support each other.”

Union Cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Thursday; 7am-10am and 3pm-9pm Friday; 7am-9pm Saturday; and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. They offer catering and online ordering services.

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